From the White House to Greece: Easter Traditions Around the World

Some people fly kites, throw pots, or have water fights — all to celebrate the most significant Christian holiday of the year

Christians all over the globe celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. In America, families commonly celebrate with dinner, Easter-egg hunts, chocolate bunnies, and candy.

In the nation’s capital, the White House celebrates by hosting an annual Easter egg roll. The tradition began over 130 years ago. The egg roll takes place this year on Monday, April 17, on the South Lawn of the White House. For those not in attendance, the White House is livestreaming the event online.

“President Donald J. Trump and first lady Melania Trump are honored to continue the traditions of the past, while weaving new traditions into the fabric of our nation’s history.”

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“President Donald J. Trump and first lady Melania Trump are honored to continue the traditions of the past, while weaving new traditions into the fabric of our nation’s history,” the White House announced.

But not every Easter celebration around the world involves eggs and bunnies.

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Other countries have their own cultural traditions that make this significant day in the Christian calendar unique to each land.

In Poland, men and boys carry around buckets of water on the Monday following Easter Sunday. The men splash or spray each other — and the girls and women — with the water. The wetter the girls get, the higher the likelihood they will get married, tradition says, and girls who get drenched will marry within the year.

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Girls in Poland can spray the men with water on the following Tuesday.

Other not quite as playful traditions include extreme and sacrificial acts like crucifixion in the Philippines. Faithful followers whip themselves bloody and nail themselves to a cross, as is the custom in this Southeast Asian country.

“In towns north of Manila at least five people were nailed to crosses, while in an island to the south hundreds of residents dressed up as Roman centurions as part of decades-old traditions in the Southeast Asian nation,” The Daily Mail reported Friday. Organizers even encourage children to take part in this intense Easter practice.

Most other traditions aren’t as dramatic as that of the Philippines.

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People throw pots and pans out their window in Greece the Saturday before Easter. “Legend has it that the ritual symbolizes the coming of spring, new life, and new crops,” as notes.

On the island of Bermuda, people celebrate by flying kites. The people hand-make the kites and fly them to symbolize the cross and Jesus’ ascension to heaven.

And in Italy, Pope Francis presides at the Mass of Our Lord’s Resurrection in St. Peter’s Square this year.

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