Ask any normal non-western Christian, and I’m sure they would be completely baffled by bunnies and eggs being part of Easter. But who cares what they think, bunnies are cute and the Easter members of the species lay chocolate eggs. OK, that could probably be misconstrued as offensive (instead of a sad attempt at comedy) so allow me to rephrase, they probably have pretty weird Easter traditions themselves. Here are a few of those from around the world.
Czech Republic and Slovakia – Public Whippings
OK, relax my single Czech and Slovakian reader, I’m going to explain. So in these two countries women are doused with water and then whipped with willow branches or decorated whips. This supposedly preserves their youth and beauty. Oh, sorry Mr. Czech and Mr. Slovakia you’re right I forgot to mention that the whipping isn’t supposed to hurt. Fine. It doesn’t hurt. Oh and after the women get whipped they give their assailants alcohol or candy. Nice. Here’s an awesome video with a Punk soundtrack because that makes so much more sense than bunnies in spring….
Greece – Pastel Spring like colors are for pansies, Go Red or Go Home
Yup, in the country that gave birth to Aristotle, Plato and Pythagoras and is known for its beauty (both items of which are completely unrelated to our topic, but I’ve got a word-count to reach), Easter Eggs are usually dyed a bright Red Color. Also with the completion of Easter lunch on Sunday they take these eggs and bash them into other eggs held by their relatives, friends and guest. The person whose egg doesn’t break, I guess wins Easter? (if you know Greek this vid does feature a ‘colorful’ word at it the end, you have been warned)
Spain – Is this Halloween or Easter or a Pink Floyd video? I’m so confundido (that’s confused in Spanish…obviously)
So at least this makes some canonical sense, when Christ split the souls between heaven, hell and purgatory. While most of the world is knee high in Pastel colored ribbons, hyper-green plastic grass and fluorescent colored plastic eggs, the Spaniards are watching the medieval equivalent of a Misfits concert to celebrate Easter.
Norway – Easter Crime Novel (because f*ck logic we have 24 hours of daylight and 24 hours of dark)
So this one is probably a lot more modern than other traditions featured on this list, but it has gained huge amounts of popularity amongst Norwegians. Basically you seclude yourself completely, switch off, tune out and pick up the spookiest, best crime novel you can find and use your 5 days off to read it. Wow, much Easter, so much Christ.
Hungary – Drenching women in buckets full of Easter
OK, that sounded a lot dirtier than I thought it was going to be so let me adjust accordingly. If you are a female of marrying age in Hungary, then expect to get wet on Easter…No… that still sounds weird. OK, let me try this again, so women of marrying age dress up fancifully and wait for boys to splash them. Nope. OK, so on Easter, boys and men chase women of marrying age through the streets and throw cologne or buckets of water at them. The one that gets ‘spritzed’ the most wins Easter (I think). Yeah, I can’t get that to sound innocuous, sorry Hungary. Again after they drench the women, the guys are given sweets, cookies or booze. Do not try this outside of Hungary though because instead of a shot of booze you’ll probably get a shot of Pepper Spray.
Do you know about any other strange traditions from around the world? Let me know in the comment section below.