Easter is a religious holiday when many celebrate spring and Jesus Christ’s resurrection. However, Easter traditions vary from country to country and even family to family. This year, Orthodox Easter and Catholic Easter fall on the same day, April 16th, providing the perfect opportunity to take a deeper look into Easter traditions around the world. Many people enjoy sending Easter Baskets to friends and family, so knowing a little about how they celebrate can help you pick out the perfect surprise.
Easter Traditions in the United States
In the United States, Easter has become a holiday that is both religious and commercial. Many families observe Catholic or Christian Easter traditions, going to special services in church on Sunday and using this as a time to reflect on their beliefs. Some families have mixed religious views, so to include those who do not attend spiritual services, there is usually a big get-together on Easter, or Easter weekend.
This big party on Easter Sunday is something that a lot of families spend days planning for. The children get excited to decorate hard-boiled eggs in rich dyes, often pastel colors, to welcome spring. Parents and grandparents alike get together to cook, plan crafts, games, and Easter gifts for the whole family.
What should you include in your Easter Basket to family in the US? Chocolate eggs in bright colored wrapping and bunny-shaped chocolates are the most popular choices to fill up Easter Baskets for Kids. For adults, a more appropriate gift might be Easter flowers or a nice bottle of wine.
Easter Traditions in Spain
In Spain, Easter is the last day of a huge celebration called Semana Santa or Holy Week. During this week, the whole country transforms to observe centuries-old religious traditions. Most towns’ streets are filled with famous processions local groups organize. These groups are confradias, or ‘brotherhoods,’ who carry images related to the Passion of Christ over their shoulders.
Among these rich religious displays and teachings is music. Many processions are accompanied by bands that play religious music, calling on the whole street to watch and learn about their Easter Traditions. Family members still get together to reflect after and celebrate the end of Lent by eating a delicious Easter cake known as Mona de Pascua, a dish that features a boiled egg in the center.
What kind of Easter Basket should you get for your family in Spain? Gift giving isn’t a focus of Easter in Spain, but it will certainly still be appreciated. Find out what they gave up for Lent and send them a basket bursting with the goodies they can once again enjoy. Or, if you’re in doubt, send a mixed gourmet basket the whole family can share and it’ll be like a second celebration.
Easter Traditions in Russia
Like with most holidays, Russians are all about spending this time with family. Of course, many religious Easter traditions are observed, including a night service the day before Easter to organize processions around the church. People in the procession and on the streets raise their voices in prayer and proclamation, saying “Khristos voskres!” (“Christ is risen!”) to those they pass. In reply, people say “Voistinu voskres” (“Truly He is”) followed by hugging and a traditional triple kiss. To further spread the joy, many follow the old Russian Easter tradition of delivering gifts to poor families, friends, strangers, or really any place in need. The idea is to show the same mercy and kindness they believe Jesus showed.
At home, family comes together to spend time with one another and enjoy delicious food like Paskha, which is a special sweet bread for the holiday. They also enjoy coloring eggs (traditionally in many shades of red) but there are no egg hunts like in the US. These eggs are often intricate and it’s fun to show them off to family and friends, or give as a gift to neighbors.
To send the perfect Easter Basket to your loved ones in Russia, there is really only rule – send something from the heart. Treat your loved ones to a gourmet basket that they can share during their celebrations or send tea and coffee to enjoy while they stay up chatting. Whatever you send, send it with your love and best wishes.
Easter Traditions in Brazil
People in Brazil celebrate their Easter holiday in the fall and the end of their “Holy Week.” The main celebrations during Holy Week start on Friday, where many areas have street plays to tell the tale of the Passion of Christ. The Saturday that follows is called “Sabado de Aleluia,”; on this day, many people create Judas Dolls. These dolls often have images of hated politicians or other figures on them. People hit them with sticks around the streets until they are destroyed.
Easter Sunday is not so different from the US. Families gather together to enjoy food and great company. Everyone gets chocolate eggs, especially kids. Very recently, some families have adopted the traditional Easter egg hunt for their kids.
Sending an Easter Basket to Brazil is simple – send something they love. Chocolate eggs and US-style treats are becoming popular, but a vibrant bouquet of bright Spring flowers will them smile too.
Easter Traditions in UK
Easter traditions in the UK have evolved into a cross between old customs from Anglo-Saxon times and Eostre worship, to modern customs from Christianity. As in many places, Easter Sunday is a time of deep religious reflection. Many Catholics and Christians hold special services and also celebrate the end of Lent.
In many areas, you’ll find men dressed up in costumes with hats, ribbons, and bells around their ankles. They are performing a Morris dance. This rhythmic stepping dance includes performers wielding sticks, handkerchiefs, or even swords to aid in their display. Eggs also play a big part in their celebration. They are boiled, dyed, eaten, and even rolled around! Many families play a game in which they roll eggs down a hill or across a yard to see whose egg can go the farthest un-cracked.
What should your Easter Basket include in the UK? Chocolate eggs are a huge hit with just about everyone. But any reminder of spring will do, from fresh flowers to fragrant teas. The perfect Easter gift should be something to indulge in.
Image #1 by Somewhere in the world today