5 Child-friendly Easter traditions in different cultures
Egg hunting is a must on Easter for most families in the Netherlands. My children have never trusted the idea that the Easter bunny carefully hung chocolate eggs in our garden. They seem to have always known that it was me. But no problems there, if their mother likes to pretend there is a man sized bunny handing out eggs, that is fine by them. As long as they can eat the chocolate they found, they happily play along. Using eggs to celebrate Easter appears to be a very old tradition dating to a time before Christianity.
In pagan times, eggs were a traditional symbol of fertility and rebirth. Supposedly they were chicken or duck eggs, hard-boiled and painted in various colours and patterns. A very child-friendly tradition indeed, egg painting and hunting are perfect way to celebrate Easter with kids. But if you would like to celebrate Easter a little different this year, try one of these five child-friendly Easter traditions in different cultures.
- Eat Spanish torrijas
On Domingo de Pascua (‘Easter Sunday’) in Spain it is traditional for a godfather to present his godchild with a cake known as ‘La Mona de Pascua’. The word Mona is derived from the Moroccan term meaning ‘gift’ and the word Pascua from Spanish for Easter (la Pascua de Resurrección). Easter eggs are called huevo de Pascua.The most popular Spanish Easter dish is the torrijas. This is a blend of slices of bread soaked in milk, sugar and egg, then fried in olive oil. The dish is served along with wine, syrup, honey, sugar or cinnamon for an extra touch of the festive spirit. It looks a lot like our Dutch ‘wentelteefjes’ which are excellent. I have to try this recipe for torrijas.
- Make a Bermuda kite
Most Easter traditions seem to involve food, but Bermudians choose to celebrate Good Friday by flying home-made kites. According to Bermuda-Online.org, the tradition is said to have begun when a local teacher from the British Army had difficulty explaining Christ’s ascension to Heaven to his Sunday school class. He made a kite, traditionally shaped like a cross, to illustrate the Ascension. The traditional Bermuda kites are made with colorful tissue paper, long tails, wood, metal, and string.
- Dress up as a Swedish witch
In Sweden Easter is celebrated eating eggs, herring and Jansson’s Temptation (potato, onion and pickled sardines baked in cream). The most interesting tradition to come out of Sweden is that in the days leading up to Easter Sunday, children dress up as Easter witches, wearing old and discarded clothes. Traveling from home to home in their neighborhoods, the children trade paintings and drawings for sweets. Doesn’t that sound like …
- Hungarian perfume sprinkling
For something completely different, why not try perfume sprinkling. It supposedly is a popular Hungarian Easter tradition on Easter Monday, which is also known as “Ducking Monday.” Boys playfully sprinkle perfume or perfumed water on girls. Young men used to pour buckets of water over young women’s heads, but now they spray perfume, cologne or just plain water, and ask for a kiss. People used to believe that water had a cleaning, healing and fertility-inducing effect.
- Egg fights in Bulgaria
And last but not least, for those of you who are into some family games there are Bulgarian egg fights. In Bulgaria, people don’t hide their eggs – they have egg fights! Whoever comes out of the choukane s yaitsagame with an unbroken egg is the winner and assumed to be the most successful member of the family in the coming year. If you want to give it a try, these are the rules: Find the “sharp” end of the egg
- Wrap your fist around the egg, with the sharp end pointing downwards
- Hit the “blunt” side of your opponent’s egg with your sharp side
- If you cracked their egg, you are the winner. If not, you lose this round.
- Then turn your egg around and offer your blunt end for hitting
- You opponent will hit you with their sharp end
- The winner from the match keeps fighting other eggs until there is one egg champion.
Have a great Easter!