Easter Celebrations Around the World

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Easter Celebrations Around the WorldEaster Celebrations Around the WorldIts always interesting to see how other countries around the world celebrate the same holiday. In this issue of the Global Connection, we will find out if the celebrations and traditions are different or the same for the Easter holiday.In New Zealand, people attend Church Services over the weekend to celebrate both the death and resurrection of Christ and to mark the end of the season of Lent. The stores all carry Hot Cross Buns and stock chocolate Easter eggs for the Easter Bunny to fill his basket in anticipation of his delivery rounds on Easter Sunday morning. This usually results in Easter egg hunts for the children.France has held on to its traditions by giving eggs (chocolate nowadays) on Easter day, which is related to the renewal of nature in spring time. It has also been related to the end of fast period, a period during which no eggs could be eaten, creating abundance thereafter. Louis XIV gave eggs gilded with gold to his sycophants. They were filled with "surprises" and the tradition remains until today. It is also the symbol of resurrection in Christian religions.On Easter Sunday in Italy, all members of the family exchange Easter eggs, which can also be made especially for the occasion containing special gifts that are placed inside the egg. On Easter Sunday morning, each family usually eats a breakfast of salami, eggs, a special cheese cake and the traditional ''colomba'' a sweet cake which contains almonds and candied fruits. On Easter Monday, everybody goes out for a picnic or by the sea and many families eat lamb, broad beans and a strong sheeps milk cheese.For the Czech Republic, in general, Easter is no longer considered a great Catholic feast. It is more of a welcome to spring, an opportunity for a family to meet at dinner or to visit one of the cultural events held during Easter. Fairs are held in many places, there is usually a wide offer of beautiful hand-painted Easter eggs, and eggs decorated by different techniques the so called "kraslice" (yolk and white are removed and egg-shell is decorated), which decorate shops as well as households.There are a variety of Easter traditions in Australia. Pancake Day is associated with Shrove Tuesday, because pancakes were a dish that could use up perishable foodstuffs prior to the beginning of the 40 days of fasting during Lent. Hot Cross Buns have a cross, the symbol of Christ, placed on top of the buns, either with pastry or a simple mixture of flour and water. The buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday; however, in Australia they are available in bakeries and stores many weeks before Easter. Easter eggs, symbolizing new life, have long been associated with the Easter festival.The United States shares many of the traditions with other countries. On Easter Sunday children wake up to find that the Easter Bunny has left them baskets of candy. He has also hidden the eggs that they decorated earlier that week. Children hunt for the eggs all around the house and outside. Neighborhoods and organizations hold Easter egg hunts, and the child who finds the most eggs wins a prize. Families also get together for an Easter meal.For Ireland, Easter-time is rich with traditions, the overlapping and commingling of centuries of ritual celebrating rebirth, resurrection, salvation and everlasting life. Many of the traditions surrounding Easter in Ireland are universal to the Christian world. Others such as the dawn dance, the herring funeral, and the cake dance are distinctly Celtic, and many hark back to the traditions of pre-Christian times.On Sunday morning in Poland, beautifully laid tables are covered with colored eggs, cold meats, coils of sausages, ham, yeast cakes, pound cakes, poppy-seed cakes, and in the middle of it all, a lamb made of sugar, commemorating the resurrected Christ. No smoke is permitted; therefore no warm meals are served. Sharing a boiled egg with ones relatives is a national tradition. A piece of egg with salt and pepper, consecrated by priest, is an inseparable accessory in the good wishes we extend to each other at Easter.In Brazil, parents hide chocolate eggs the Saturday before Easter around the house, so the kids can find them on Sunday morning. There are different sizes but all made out of chocolate. Sometimes close friends and relatives also exchange eggs.Traditions for the people of the U.K. include eating hot cross buns meant to symbolize the Cross, exchange chocolate eggs or bunnies (symbols of new life) on Easter Sunday and often small eggs are hidden around house and garden for children to find. Children paint decorations on egg shells and simnel cakes are baked a rich fruit cake with a layer of marzipan in the middle and 11 balls of marzipan on top symbolizing 11 true apostles (excluding Judas). This is less common now except in a very traditional Easter.It seems that most every country celebrates Easter with family, sweet treats and wonderfully colored eggs. It is also a holiday that children around the world can enjoy.How to say Happy Easter in different languages!!!