By Dale Western on 14 March 2016

With Easter weekend fast approaching, millions of us are planning to leave the UK to enjoy a quick break.

We've given Easter a bit of thought recently, and we've come to the conclusion that it's not all bunnies and chocolate. Traditions around the world vary wildly from country to country; here are ten of the best Easter traditions which you may encounter on your travels.

Sweden: Swedish children dress up as 'Easter witches' using old clothes in the run-up to Easter Sunday. They visit the houses in their neighbourhoods trading paintings and drawings for sweets. Swedes like to eat eggs, herring and Jansson's Temptation (potato, onion and pickled sardines baked in cream) over the Easter period; what, no chocolate?

Swedish food

Norway: You may find lots of Norwegians with their head in a good crime novel around Easter, as they have named the season 'Easter-crime', with many around the country reading mystery books or watching detective shows on TV.

Norway murder mystery

Germany: Resourceful Germans will pile up their old Christmas trees and burn them on Easter Sunday and Monday, signifying the end of winter and the start of spring. It's a good excuse for a party; adults enjoy booze and food as they watch the flames incinerate the trees.

Burn Christmas tree

Poland: On Easter Monday, Polish boys try to drench people with buckets of water and water pistols. Local legend has it that if a girl gets soaked with water that day, she will marry that year.

Water pistol

Corfu: On the morning of Easter Saturday, the islanders throw pots, pans and other kitchenware out of their windows, smashing them on the street. Many believe this act symbolises the start of spring and wakens the crops that will grow in the new pots they'll need.

Easter in Corfu

Spain: The medieval town of Verges performs the less-than-celebratory-sounding 'Death dance’. Spaniards dress in skeleton costumes and parade the streets, with the fiesta beginning at midnight and going on until 3am.


Bermuda: Bermudians fly home-made kites and eat codfish cakes and hot cross buns on Good Friday. The kites are thought to symbolise the Ascension; presumably, the codfish cakes and hot cross buns just taste nice.

Codfish cake

Slovakia: Much like their Polish counterparts, Slovakians also splash women with water, and they are then gently tapped with a special willow cane which is hand-woven and decorated with colourful ribbons. It is supposed to evoke youth, strength and beauty for the spring season. Let's hope none of the local ladies mind being 'tapped' with a cane.

Easter in Slovakia

Mexico: In Mexico it is traditional to burn an effigy of Judas, the betrayer of Jesus. It is usually burned on the Friday or Saturday before Easter and can sometimes be filled with fireworks for added effect.

Judases in Mexico

Colombia: Chocolate eggs are not on the menu if you visit this part of South America over Easter. Colombians like to feast on iguanas, turtles and large rodents over the festive period, presumably because they've had enough cocoa already!


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