Did you know that children in the UK receive on average 8.8 Easter eggs each every year with an average household spend of £75 on Easter treats? In the USA, 90 million chocolate bunnies and 91.4 billion eggs are produced each year. An egg-sorbetant 16 million jellybeans are used to fill the hollow centre of Easter eggs, enough to circle the globe three times over!
One old Easter tradition is a game in which real eggs are rolled down a hill. On Easter Sunday in Scotland and North-East England, some people have great fun rolling painted eggs down steep hills. The owner of the egg that stayed uncracked the longest wins. Even today in the north of England, for example as at Preston in Lancashire, they still carry out the custom of egg rolling.
In Poland, few things signify Easter more than a friendly water fight. On Easter Monday, or Wet Monday, these festivities commence by throwing lots of H2O at each other. In the olden days, it was mainly single guys chasing single girls, and it was believed that the soaked individual would be blessed with fertility and strength. Nowadays it’s pretty much everyone water-fighting everyone.
The people in Bermuda aim high for Easter. As a way to symbolise Christ rising from his grave and ascending to Heaven, kite flying is everyone’s favourite pastime during this holiday. Bermudians make their own kites with wooden sticks, colourful paper, and intricate designs. These special Easter kites can take weeks for the people to design and create. Finally the kite is topped off with a special tissue called “hummers” that makes a buzzing sound, aka the sound of Bermudian Easter.
In the Czech Republic, it is customary for men to get a special Easter whip that they then use to swat the women they fancy most. All the local men and boys will roam the streets with gaily decorated willow switches looking for girls to ‘lightly’ whip. The whipping is not intended to be painful, but instead is meant to encourage good health and beauty. This is apparently to ensure fertility and vitality as the willow is the first tree to wake in spring. How kind. I’d rather stick to rolling eggs down a hill.
On Easter Saturday at 11am sharp, the residents of Corfu throw clay pots of all sizes, from their balconies. This Venetian tradition dates back to the 16th century, when on New Year’s Day, people threw their old possessions from the window in the hope of receiving new ones – the noisy breaking pots scare away evil spirits and mark a new beginning.
Churches across Greece celebrate midnight mass with a fireworks display but on the island of Chios two rival churches take it to the next level. The parishes of St. Mark’s and Panaghia Ereithiani are built on hilltops 400 metres from each other. Throughout the night they fire hundreds of homemade rockets at the opposition’s belfry. Direct hits to the bell tower are counted the next morning when the winner is declared.
In some parts of the world, Easter is high time for crimes – not biting off the ears of innocent chocolate bunnies or cracking beautifully decorated eggs. No, we’re talking about the Norwegian tradition of reading, watching, and listening to crime stories and detective thrillers during the Easter holidays. The whole country seems to be in on the suspense as publishers, radio and TV stations produce murder mysteries, and even the milk cartons carry short detective stories printed on their side.
Finland’s Easter offering is a wonderfully quaint ode to spring. Children plant grass in small portable beds inside the house and literally sit and watch it grow. The excitement really ramps up to new levels when the shoots break through. After the grass has finished growing to maturity, children decorate it with painted eggs and paper bunnies to signify a time of fertility in the country.
Some customs to do with Easter have now, thankfully, egg-spired! What are your Easter traditions? Please leave a comment to let us know.
Whatever your plans are this Easter, we hope you have an egg-ceedingly good weekend. Hoppy Easter from Hiplets!
If you are in Bath around this time don’t miss out on some of these fun filled family events:
Easter Weekend at Kilver Court – https://www.kilvercourt.com/easter-weekend-at-kilver-court
Feel Good Friday at Bath Racecourse – https://www.bath-racecourse.co.uk/whats-on/feel-good-friday
Side by Side Easter Trail – https://americanmuseum.org/whats-on/full-events-listing
Easter Sunday Lunch – http://www.bowood.org/event/easter-sunday-lunch-shelburne-restaurant/
Glow in the Dark Easter Egg Hunt – https://www.cheddargorge.co.uk/whats-on/glow-in-the-dark-egg-hunt
Egg Drop Challenge – https://www.avonvalley.co.uk/weve-got-easter-cracked/
For more details, visit the Visit Bath and Bath Racecourse websites.