Bunnies, Flying Bells, Peppers: Easter Traditions Around the World
Holy Week remains to be a big deal in the Philippines, with many
Though Christmas, which commemorates the birth of Christ, might be a bigger to-do, Easter, which celebrates his triumphant resurrection, is the most important event in the Roman Catholic Church’s liturgical year. The Vatican begins its Holy Week activities on Palm Sunday, building up through Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Black Saturday. The week culminates with an Easter Sunday mass said by the Pope in St. Peter’s Square. The square can accommodate up to 80,000 visitors and requests for tickets (which are free) should be made at least two months in advance as throngs of the faithful flock there every Easter—oftentimes spilling out into the nearby streets. Having a ticket does not guarantee entrance to the square if it has reached its full capacity, so coming several hours early is highly recommended. This April 16th, Pope Francis will preside at the Mass of Our Lord’s Resurrection before giving his Urbi et Orbi blessing (which means ‘to the city of Rome and to the world’) from the central balcony of St Peter’s Basilica.
If you had the pleasure of viewing the film Chocolat (2000), starringJuliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, this next tradition might (literally) ring a bell. In France, young children weren't weaned with the Easter bunny. Instead, they're taught that all the church bells grow two little wings and fly to Rome in the days before Easter. As the legend goes, the bells are blessed by the Pope, and when they return to France on Easter morning, they carry with them a bounty of chocolate and brightly
The Annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House is one of the oldest annual traditions held by the presidential mansion. The 139-year-old custom dates back to 1878, and for generations, U.S. presidents and their families have marked Easter Monday by hosting this event. Things have changed and evolved through the years, but the main attraction has and always will be the egg roll, with children pushing brightly
Thanks to its Spanish
The Russian-Orthodox Church celebrates Easter later than the rest of the world as it follows the old Julian Calendar (while Roman Catholics and Protestants started following the Gregorian Calendar in the 16th century). Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia, the head of the Russian-Orthodox Church, holds the main Easter service at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, which is situated on the northern bank of the Moskva River, just a few blocks
The days leading up to Easter Sunday are traditionally very busy as this is the time of year when Russians do their spring cleaning. Easter day itself is often bright and sunny, so another ancient tradition is the opening of birdcages and setting birds free.
Last but not the least, one cannot mention Easter in Russia without referring to the time-honored tradition of beautiful Easter eggs. In the olden times, these eggs were thought to have magical powers that could protect crops, cattle, and ward off evil spirits. The craft and practice of creating stunning eggs for lucky charms grew, and the most famous of these Easter eggs are the exquisite,