by Marieke Audsley
I have a secret to admit… Even though I am probably considered far too old, I still absolutely love a good Easter egg hunt. There is nothing quite like the joy of rummaging around the garden looking for glinting pieces of shiny foil and discovering a gorgeous little chocolate sphere nestled among flowerbeds and tufts of grass. You also can’t beat a warm hot cross bun smothered in butter when you get back inside after your hunt, not to mention a scrumptious lunch of roast lamb with mint sauce.
There are so many wonderful Easter traditions, foods and activities in the UK and all over the world that I thought it might be fun to do some research and share my findings with you…
Russians make and eat a ‘pashka’, which is a pyramid cake made out of cheese and decorated with religious symbols. Pass the crackers Gromit!
Who loves panettone? I certainly do, which is why I adore the similar ‘colomba’, which is a bread-y cake, shaped in to a dove and munched at Easter time.
The Greeks have a fantastic brioche-like bread, which is decorated with hard boiled eggs that have been painted red so that they symbolize the blood of Christ.
Spaniards also put eggs on their ‘Mona de Pascua’, which is a doughnut-like bread with a boiled egg on the top.
Maundy Thursday is known as ‘Green Thursday’ in Germany and to celebrate they eat lots of green foods. Anyone for some kale and broccoli?
In the Philippines crucifixions are staged in remembrance of Jesus’ suffering. They usually draw crowds of thousands to watch and those who take part do so to atone their sins and pray for a better life.
Polish miners hold a special underground procession at a salt mine and attired in ceremonial uniforms they march towards a salt monument of Pope John Paul II.
Over in Slovakia women are whipped with wet willow branches, although the intention behind it is somewhat surprising – it is believed that it makes them healthier and more beautiful!
In Nigeria and many other countries worldwide, children enjoy decorating and painting hard-boiled eggs.
There are more eggs in la belle France where the ringing of bells is what is said to bring the eggs into the baskets of hungry children.
The Easter Bunny is a famous figure worldwide of course, but down under they have the ‘Easter Bilby’ instead.
And in Sweden it’s the Easter Hare.
We are partial to rolling cheese down hills in the UK, and over in the U S of A they love to roll eggs down hills and even on the lawns of the White House!
A somewhat unusual tradition has crept up in Norway on account of children and adults getting time off from school and work. The break gives them a chance to get stuck into a good book and the notion of the ‘Easter thriller’ has emerged; turn off your phone, get on the sofa and stuck into a page-turning crime novel.
Whatever you are up to the Easter, be it rolling eggs, baking bread or cooking up something green, I hope you have a wonderful weekend!