Easter Sunday is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here's a glimpse at how people in different countries celebrate.
Each country has its own special traditions and rituals, but one central custom is the Easter egg. Traditionally, real eggs, either raw or boiled were beautifully painted or coloured in different hues and placed in baskets or nests made of straw. They were hidden in various places and a egg hunt was organised. This slowly paved way for chocolate eggs, of which some were hollow and others filled with other sweets.
Eggs were chosen as they were the symbol of new life (it is from eggs that chicks hatch.)
The Easter bunny was also chosen for the same reason. It is a sign of fertility.
In Argentina there is a special carnival. On the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, women celebrate the Tincunaco festival. Mothers and grandmothers gather under a decorated arch and exchange a doll.
In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, there is the Rio Carnival a four-day celebration which starts 40 days before Easter and finishes on Fat Tuesday with the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday.
Morris dances are performed in the U.K.; it is a vigorous dance which was originally spring dances to chase away the winter spirits. For over 500 years, Olney, a market town andBorough of Milton Keynes, U.K. has been celebrating Pancake races on Shrove Tuesday. The participants gather in the centre of the town. They have to run, with their frying pans the pancakes still cooking in them. As they run a distance to get to the church, the final destination, they have to flip the pancakes at least thrice.
The Bulgarians believe in throwing eggs at each other and the person whose eggs are not broken is said to have a year full of good luck. Special bread is made by the women of the family.
Traditional white clothes called Yabesha Libs are worn by Ethiopians on Easter Sunday. They bake sour bread called Dabo which is cut on Sunday morning after prayers. Every one who visits the house partakes of this.
An old French custom was to roll eggs down a slope. The egg that did not break was the victory egg. This tradition symbolised the rolling away of the stone from Jesus' tomb.
Old Christmas trees are collected and burnt during the Easter fire in Germany and this signifies that winter is gone and spring is about to begin. An Easter egg tree is also kept.
Closer home, in the hills of Nagaland, Easter Sunday means a family get together. Lhovino Solo , a student of Madras Christian College, Chennai says that “A vast amount of food is specially prepared, and it is first given to the poor and taken to hospitals to feed patients who have no family.”