So how is Easter celebrated in other parts of the world?
In Rome, the Pope washes the feet of a dozen men during a service commemorating Christ’s gesture of humility to his apostles. On Good Friday, he takes part in the traditional night-time Stations of the Cross procession at the Colosseum and tens of thousands of people will gather in St Peter’s Square for Mass on Easter Sunday.
Easter is the most important religious holiday in the Greek Orthodox calendar. Shops decorate their windows with brightly coloured-wrappings for Easter candles and chocolate eggs. Greek families sit down to a meal of whole roasted lamb on Easter Sunday.
In the Philippines, Holy Week is commemorated with street processions, during these events, some devotees walk barefoot in sweltering heat, while local residents recite passages from the bible reciting Jesus Christ’s suffering.
The Easter Tree or ‘Osterbaum’ is popular in Germany, it involves Easter eggs being hung from trees or large branches. Decorated eggs are popular in Germany and the ‘egg dance’ is often played where eggs are laid on the ground and people dance around them.
In Sweden, children dress up as Easter hags or witches, they paint their faces, carry a broom and go knock on neighbours doors for treats, rather like Halloween. They decorate their houses with willow or birch twigs and eat a smörgåsbord, a buffet-style meal that includes herring, salmon, potatoes, eggs, meatballs and sausages.
In America, the Easter Bunny delivers Easter eggs and has become a legend in American culture. The annual Easter Egg Roll will be held at the White House on Easter Monday, the tradition involves children rolling eggs across the White House lawn with long-handled spoons.
Easter is celebrated in dramatic ways throughout Spain, with hundreds of processions involving participants in white robes taking place during Holy Week. The Dance de la Muerta (Dance of Death) takes place in Gerona and involves five people dressed as skeletons and scaring people in their path.
Rather than tucking into chocolate eggs, Columbians like to eat turtle egg omelettes, iguana soup, cayman stew, fried yucca and capybara, the world’s largest rodent for their traditional Easter dinner.
However you chose to celebrate, the team at the IOE would like to wish all our members and friends a very happy Easter weekend!