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Last Updated on February 27, 2017 by Diane Hoffmaster
With the coming of spring we also celebrate the season of Easter in the Christian church. Well, to be honest, even non Christians are celebrating Easter nowadays. Are you looking for some fun Easter traditions to start with your kids? This holiday has less and less of a religious meaning to many people and instead is just a day for children to gorge themselves on candy and run around looking for little plastic eggs.
Our family falls somewhere in the middle when it comes to Easter traditions. I make sure my children understand the religious history behind the holiday celebration, we go to church and hear the stories of Christ's rise from the dead...and THEN we go home and gorge ourselves on chocolate and have Easter egg hunts. Of course, Christians aren't the only ones who have a claim to a springtime celebration of rebirth. Historically, many religions and regions have unique ways of celebrating during this time of the year. Here are a few Easter traditions you may want to consider adding into your family!
Fun Easter traditions from around the world
I think it is important that children learn the history of the holidays we celebrate. Even more important, to me anyhow, is for them to understand that just because WE choose to celebrate a certain way doesn't mean that everyone else is doing it wrong! Easter traditions are important to me...I MUST start out with a breakfast of Hot Crossed Buns. Did you know that history suggests that buns marked with a cross were eaten by Saxons in honor of the goddess Eostre? The cross is thought to have symbolized the four quarters of the moon. "Eostre" is probably the origin of the name "Easter". People were eating hot crossed buns way before Christian Easter traditions made them popular!
Click the photo below and learn how to make hot crossed buns!
So, what are some other fun Easter traditions from around the world? Here are just a few that I came across in my search!
In the Czech Republic:
I'm not sure this sounds like a FUN Easter tradition but a unique one, for sure! A tradition of spanking or whipping is carried out on Easter Monday. Men spank women with a special handmade whip called a pomlázka. It is made of up to twenty-four willow rods and decorated with colored ribbons at the end. The spanking is not painful only symbolic. A legend says that women should be spanked with a whip in order to keep their health and beauty during the following year.
In Louisiana, USA:
People engage in a custom of egg tapping or egg knocking. Competitors pair up on the steps of the courthouse on Easter Sunday and knock the tips of two eggs together. If your egg cracks, you lose. The game continues until just one egg remains and a victor has emerged.
Netherlands and parts of Germany:
In the northern and eastern parts of the Netherlands and parts of Germany, large Easter Fires are lit on Easter Day at sunset.
In Finland, Sweden, and Denmark
Small children dressed as witches collect candy door-to-door, in exchange for decorated pussy willows. Apparently, this is a blend of an old Orthodox tradition of blessing houses with willow branches and the Scandinavian Easter witch tradition.
In Poland, people celebrate Easter with the Blessing Basket. People prepare a basket the day before Easter full of beautifully colored eggs, bread, cake, salt, paper and white colored sausages. Then, they go to church to have the basket of food blessed.
I have always been fascinated with the early Christian church and how church leaders incorporated Pagan traditions into Christianity in hopes of convincing them that they should follow Jesus as their savior. Easter was originally a pagan festival celebrating the spring equinox.
Does this story from Pagan history sound familiar to you?
Cybele's lover, Attis, was born of a virgin, and every year he died and was reborn at the spring equinox feast. This festival began as a day of death and blood on a Black Friday and reached a crescendo after three days when he resurrected bringing the spring season with him.
Another interesting tidbit of information from Pagan history: The symbol for the goddess Eostre (where the word Easter probably got it's name) is the rabbit which represented fertility. I wonder if that rabbit brought all the pagans little plastic eggs filled with candy.....
Do you have any fun Easter traditions that are important to your family?
Like this post? Check out a few of these!
How to Make Easter Fun for Kids
Birds Nest Pudding Tart Recipe
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.