Alternative Easter

We run down some of the most unusual Easter celebrations from around the world…

Traditional Majorca

Where: Palma

When: 18th to 22ndApril

In Majorca, Easter is full of traditions dating back centuries, while many European countries have lost the religious aspect of the celebrations, it’s still very important on this Spanish island.  Watching the re-enactment of the Passion of Christ on the steps of Palma Cathedral and through the streets of Palma and is as exhilarating as it is moving.

If you are looking for something less religious, Majorca’s traditional Easter fair pops up every year on the outskirts of Palma for a couple of months. Thousands visit for the children’s rides, Ferris wheel, thrill rides, stalls and refreshments.

Palma Cathedral

Pot throwing in Corfu

Where: All over Corfu

When: Saturday, Easter Weekend

The tradition of “Pot Throwing” usually takes place on the morning of Holy Saturday. People throw pots, pans and other wares out of their windows, smashing them on the street.

Some say the custom of throwing of pots welcomes spring, symbolizing the new crops that will be gathered in new pots.  Others say it derives from the Venetians, who on New Year’s Day used to throw out all of their old items.

Pot Smashing, Corfu

Egg fights in Bulgaria

Where: Throughout Bulgaria

When: Easter Weekend

The good luck crack is a unique Easter tradition! Participants take turns in tapping their eggs against the eggs of other participants, whoever comes out of the game with an unbroken egg is the winner and assumed to be the most successful member of the family in the coming year.

In another Bulgarian tradition, the oldest woman in the family rubs the faces of the children with the first red egg she has coloured, symbolizing her wish that they have good health throughout the year.

Bulgarian eggs

Easter Parade

Where: New York, USA

When: Easter Sunday

On Easter Sunday, New York City hosts a tradition that has been around since the late 1800s. Originally the Easter Parade began with modest Easter flowers in churches.  Over the years the flower decorations became more flamboyant and stylish and by the late nineteenth century, people wore fashionable clothing and paraded down the streets to see the flowers in church.

Today, eye-catching Easter bonnets are worn by people of all ages in a procession from 49th to 57th street on Fifth Avenue, Manhattan.

The best place to watch is from St Patrick’s Cathedral.

New York

Scary Sicily

Where: Prizzi, Sicily,

When: Easter Sunday

The Abballu de daivuli takes place in the hills south of Palermo.

The locals dress in red robes and masks made of zinc, then pester as many “souls” as they can (which means making them pay for drinks) before the afternoon when the Virgin Mary and the risen Christ save the day – the devils are then chased away by angels.

Abballu de daivuli

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