This year Easter Sunday in the UK falls on 9th April and both the Friday 7th (Good Friday) and Monday 10th (Easter Monday) are bank holidays for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The date for Easter each year is the same for all countries that recognise it.
As Easter is a Christian festival, some of us will be celebrating at church. And for sure, most of us will gather with friends and family to share and enjoy the things that we associate with Easter:
Chocolate eggs, egg hunts, hot cross buns, roast lamb, daffodils, chicks and bunnies, painted eggs, holidays and more! This is all familiar to us but have you ever wondered:
How do other countries around the world celebrate Easter?
Let’s take a look at a few of the countries we offer international Easter hamper delivery to:
Easter in HONG KONG
Easter in Hong Kong is a 4-day public holiday from the Friday until Monday, as part of the British legacy.
Christians attend church services but popular western customs are enjoyed by many like chocolate eggs and egg hunts and they also enjoy picnics and afternoon teas.
Hong Kong Disneyland holds a Disney Springtime Eggs-Stravaganza!
Easter in SPAIN
Easter in Spain is observed for 7 days. It’s a very interesting place to visit during this Holy Week!
Religious processions take place in most towns and villages. Streets overflow with big and elaborate floats depicting biblical scenes.
There is singing and chanting and live music with people dressing up in a variety of costumes, traditional dress, hooded robes, black mourning clothes.
There are unique Easter traditions in many towns such as in Seville where Judas dolls (representing Judas Iscariot) are thrown into the air and burned.
You won’t find chocolate Easter eggs in Spain but the foods enjoyed are torrija (a cross between French toast and bread pudding), pestinos (honey-glazed fritters, yum!), garlic soup with baked egg and seafood and sweet fortified wines.
Traditional wear for Holy Week in Spain at Easter
Easter in CANADA
Easter is one of the major festivals in Canada. The traditions of egg hunts, egg decorating and the Easter Bunny are all enjoyed.
Did you know – Canada is famous for a HUGE constructed egg known as the Vegreville Egg?
Built in remembrance of early Ukranian settlements near Edmonton, it attracts many tourists. It’s a giant sculpture of a Ukranian -style Easter Egg, created by an engineer in 1975.
The Vegreville Egg is 9m long and weighs 2.5 tonnes! It’s the 2nd largest ‘pysanka’ (Ukranian Easter Egg) in the world. It’s unique construction, rather like a jigsaw, is fascinating to many.
The Vegreville Egg in Alberta, Canada weighs two and a half tonnes
Easter in POLAND
Easter is a major holiday in Poland with a week of celebrations.
During Holy Week people spring-clean and visit representations of Christ’s tomb to mourn and pray. On Good Friday many Catholics will fast.
On Easter Saturday people prepare a basket, decorating it with lace napkins and sprigs of boxwood. They fill it with hard-boiled eggs, a piece of meat, salt and pepper and a cake made in the form of a lamb to symbolise Christ, then take it to church to be blessed.
Sunday is their main day. Before breakfast an unleavened wafer known as oplatek is shared together with the blessed hard-boiled eggs and they wish one another a happy Easter.
On Easter Day they enjoy sausages, ham, pate, roast meats, a sweet braided bread (babka) and Polish cheesecake (sernik).
And on Easter Monday in Poland it’s a tradition to throw water at each other, sometimes buckets of it! It’s a tradition dating back to pre-Christian 14th century when water symbolized life and renewal.
Oplatek is a Christmas wafer made from wheat flour and water and eaten in Poland at Easter
Easter in SWEDEN
In Sweden, Easter is a chance to gather friends and family to enjoy many of the traditions we have. They also use this break to take to their summer houses in the south or to their ski cabins in the north.
One particular Swedish Easter tradition is the painting of eggs and the decorating of birch twigs. This is done on the Friday and Saturday.
Eggs are painted in cheerful spring colours to welcome the spring and twigs, which are a reminder of Jesus’ suffering, are decorated with brightly coloured feathers. Some eggs are put into baskets, others are hung from trees. Twigs are either hung around the house or scattered around the garden.
Foods enjoyed in Sweden at Easter include Janssons Frestelse (a gratin-style casserole with potatoes, onions and European sprats), eggs, meatballs, pickled herring and lamb.
There’s a certain drink only available at Easter time in Sweden and that’s Paskmusk, a cola-type soft drink that’s very popular!
‘Snaps’ is also a tradition at Easter…..shots of strong alcoholic drinks taking during a meal!
Janssons Frestelse or 'Janssons Tempation' is a casserole eaten in Sweden at Easter made from potatoes and anchovies
Easter in NORWAY
Did you know, Norway has the world’s longest Easter holiday? Most people take the 3 main days off but many add an extra week or two.
For Norwegians, Easter heralds the start of spring and, depending on which date it falls, many like to head to the mountains to get the last of the skiing.
So what Easter traditions do we find here?
Kids tend to be given their chocolate eggs on Easter Saturday and eating citrus fruits like oranges and tangerines is popular.
Easter beer is popular in Norway as is Kvikk Lunsj – a crunchy wafer covered in chocolate! Apparently they’re mad for it!
And, though predominantly secular, churches in Norway have higher attendance rates than normal at Easter.
And one unusual fact….in Norway at Easter all things to do with the crime genre are popular! So that’s TV crime shows, whodunnit films, detective stories, the lot!
Easter in AUSTRALIA
Australia enjoys similar Easter traditions to the UK over the long weekend (with generally better weather!) but did you know, instead of the Easter Bunny they have the Easter Bilby?
Children take part in chocolate egg hunts which have been delivered by the Easter Bilby. Bilbies are an Australian native species of marsupial that are endangered and many chocolate manufacturers donate to charities protecting them.
Large roasts, BBQs, road trips and camping are enjoyed and so is sport…. the Australian Rules Football season starts during the Easter period with two games on Good Friday and, bit of a treat, one on Easter Monday!
The bilby is an endangered marsupial native to Australia.
We hope you’ve enjoyed having a glimpse of other countries’ Easter traditions.
Many countries share the common traditions that we’re familiar with but it’s interesting to learn the different customs.
What all countries have in common at Easter is the wish to gather with friends and family and enjoy good food!
As a company that sends Easter hampers abroad to all these countries and more, we’re very interested in the rest of the world and Easter is a particularly important time for us (as individuals too!).