An Easter trip around the world with Arthur Price
Spring has now sprung and with Easter on the horizon, you’re probably busy making plans with your family and friends to spend quality time together – here at Arthur Price, we thought we’d take a look at the cool, quirky and interesting ways Easter is celebrated around the world…
Vatican City: As the seat of the Catholic Church, you’d expect a truly great show at Easter – and the Vatican City doesn’t disappoint. On Good Friday, you’ll witness Medieval-themed performances, a Nativity reconstruction and a re-enactment of Jesus’ life including the crucifixion. On Easter Sunday, from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pope conducts Mass – this is known as ‘Urbi et Orbi’, which means ‘To the City and to the World’.
Greece: In Greece, Easter is a bigger occasion than Christmas! Traditional Mass is held on Easter Saturday evening and this is followed by a stunning display of fireworks at midnight to mark the start of Easter Sunday. Everyone then goes home to eat together, with the traditional dish being a bowl of steaming lamb’s stomach soup – the rest of the lamb is roasted for Easter Sunday dinner. Additionally, many Greek islands celebrate Easter in their own unique way, with Corfu hurling clay pots out of the window on Easter Sunday and Chios holding a firework rocket battle between two churches!
Bermuda: ‘Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest height…’ is Bermuda’s unique tradition for Easter – on Good Friday, Bermudans fly their carefully handcrafted, colourful kites, with prizes being awarded for the best-made kites in a variety of different categories. It’s said that a British school teacher made a kite in Bermuda to explain to his Sunday school class about Christ’s ascension to Heaven. And don’t worry – as a British territory, you’ll still find hot cross buns in Bermuda, but this tradition is sometimes swapped with salted cod fishcakes for Good Friday breakfast…
Indonesia: All the way back in the 16th century, Christianity was introduced to the islands of Indonesia by Portuguese and Dutch missionaries and since then, Easter has been celebrated with crucifixion re-enactments – and it’s considered an honour to play Jesus. It’s incredibly busy in Indonesia for the whole of Holy Week, leading up to Easter Sunday, as it’s such a spectacle to see young men are publicly bound to wooden crosses all over the country, along with statues of Christ and the Virgin Mary being paraded through the streets.
Denmark: Denmark’s Easter tradition strangely resembles Halloween – involving children dressing up as witches and wizards, going door-to-door for sweet treats – but the children are also expected to give people something in return as a thank you; this gift is a decorated willow branch that is believed to bless the owner’s house.
What are your plans for Easter Sunday? Roast Lamb dinner for the family? Easter egg hunt? Painting eggs? It’s amazing how much Easter celebrations differ from ours here in the UK – where chocolate eggs and rabbits are given as gifts, rooted in the belief that they symbolise fertility and birth – but it’s nice to think that ultimately, we all end up with our families sitting around a dinner table, knife and fork in hand, enjoying the celebrations together.
However you’re planning on spending your long weekend, we’d like to wish you a very Happy Easter from all at Arthur Price.