It isn't all Easter bonnets, hot-cross buns and eating as much as chocolate as humanly possible the world over this Easter!
No, while Easter traditions might be quite firmly entrenched here in Britain, around the world different countries mark this Christian holiday in different – rather interesting – ways.
In Norway, Easter is celebrated in a big way and is more important to many Norwegians than Christmas!
Norwegians decorate their home with Easter chickens (“Påskekyllinger”), as well as eating chocolate Easter eggs (“Påskeegg”), as chickens are a symbol of fertility.
The Easter Bunny does deliver treats here, but that's a relatively new addition to Easter in Norway, having only brought chocolate and candy here in recent years!
Meanwhile, nearby in Sweden, it's not just the Easter bunny you've got to think about. An old tradition here is the so-called Easter Witch (“Påskkärring”) which sees Swedish children dress up as witches or old ladies and go from house to house with pictures they’ve drawn in hopes of receiving some sweets in exchange for their hard work.
And in Australia, where rabbits are considered pests, the Bilby (a small marsupial that looks like a rabbit) has usurped the Easter Bunny. For down under, the “Easter Bilby” is the one who takes care of the handing out the Easter gifts, which is a handy way of raising awareness about this endangered species, too.
In France, there is a lovely Easter story told to children that since no church bells ring in France from Good Friday to Easter Sunday, legend has it that all the bells fly to Rome on Good Friday. There they are blessed, and return on Easter Sunday loaded with chocolate eggs and other sweets. On their way back, they drop the treats over the cities and villages in France for the children to find.
And in America, the Easter bunny first arrived in the 1700s with the German immigrants who settled there. The Germans brought with them the tradition of a hare that laid coloured eggs, called Osterhase, which their children would make nests for. This evolved into the Easter Bunny that we all know and love, whose gifts now include sweet treats and chocolate. Children may also leave carrots for the bunny, in the same way that they do for Santa’s reindeers at Christmas.
Happy Easter from us all at Yours, wherever you are!
Info provided by language-learning app Babbel