- Holidays and Celebrations
Spring Celebrations Around The Globe!
Growing up my mother always stressed the idea of embracing other cultures' traditions, and celebrations when it came to the holidays. She wanted to show us that just because our society tells us to celebrate in a certain way, that there are other options out there as well. The world has such a different view on holidays and traditions depending on where you are, so I wanted to really reach out and find fun things from around the world that celebrate Easter, and Spring! As where I am sure your kids are excited for the Easter Bunny to come with lots of candy and hidden eggs, there are so many fun and exciting things all over the world that they don't know about. Enjoy these traditions and celebrations, and see which one you can add into your own Easter celebration!
Haiti Loves Color!
Haiti brings a Easter to a whole new level when it comes to celebration. With a mix of both Christian and Voodoo traditions, their celebration is nothing but unique. Although the Haitians believe in reflection and attending mass during Easter weekend, they also celebrate with colorful parades, and music through the streets. Musicians walk the streets playing their home made instruments, while dancers and performers make their ways through the busy streets. Haitians are dressed to the nines in colorful and over the top costumes, as they join in the celebration.
I think it is fabulous the way the Haitians involve such a grand celebration when it comes to Easter! I would love to be able to dress up and dance away to amazing music.
Easter Fires Of Europe
In parts of Northwestern Europe you shouldn't be surprised to find communities coming together for a large bonfire on Easter. The bonfire is said to be a symbol of Spring's fight against the cold and darkness of Winter. Communities come together around these large fires enjoying drinks, fun, and games
until the wee hours of the morning.
It is also said that the fires are to resemble the fertility of Spring. The ashes are spread onto the ground that will produce crops during the fall and harvest season, making them quite literally fertilizer for the soil. Often there are competitions between the communities to see who can make the largest fire of them all!
In Armenia Easter eggs are often decorated with pictures of the Virgin Mary, Christ, and other religious designs.
For the Easter holiday Northern Argentina holds a grand Carnival. As you wander down the streets you will have the pleasure to hear the strumming of a ukelele, or charango. Families work hard to deep clean their homes, a Spring cleaning of sorts. After their homes are clean they gather basil wearing it, in hopes of warding off any evil spirits that may be lurking.
The Thursday before Ash Wednesday there is a ceremony held to unite women, giving them a bond that can only be broken by death, this ceremony is called Tincunaco. Mothers and Grandmothers come together under an arch made from willow branches, decorated with sweet fruit, cheese, flowers, and lights. The women meet under the arch and exchange a little doll.
On Easter Sunday the Carnival reaches its' peak. Dressed to the nines with their faces painted white, beautiful ruffled skirts, and hats. They make their way to a dance, singing along the way. After the dance in celebration of the spirit of the Carnival known as Pukllay, the rag doll is then buried as a symbol that Carnival is over.
I can only imagine how beautiful this Carnival is! What a wonderful way to celebrate women, especially mothers and grandmothers.
In China eggs are a symbol of fertility and are often painted and given as gifts during celebrations!
Passion Play And Carnival In Brazil
Since 1950 Brazil in the village of Fazenda, there has been a performance popularly known as a passion play. Thousands of people gather to watch volunteer actors reenact the last days of Jesus, from his arrest to his crucifixion.
In Brazil they host a Carnival which is known as their goodbye to meat, as it is what is given up for Lent. In Brazil the preparations for Carnival last year round. Creating beautiful costumes, music, performances, and parades is not an easy task. All to celebrate before the fasting through Lent.
Brazil begins Holy Week by weaving intricate patterns out of palm branches, blessing them. They create beautiful crosses, and decorations. They decorate the streets with beautiful colorful patterns creating a pathway for the procession. On Easter, Carnival makes a comeback with what is known as the Hangover Ball to celebrate the hanging of Judas.
The Bells Have Gone To Rome
In France the church bells ring throughout the year, filling the streets with their joyful sound. On the Thursday before God Friday the bells will stop ringing, in symbolism of Jesus' death. On Easter Sunday the bells ring aloud in celebration that Jesus is alive again. The bells start off a celebration as the French kiss and hug each other as the beautiful sound rings out.
Much like the United States children awake on Easter Sunday to find Easter eggs scattered around their rooms, and in nests they place in their yards. Unlike the United States children are told that the eggs were brought from Rome by the bells when they returned from seeing the Pope.
In France the children are told that it is the church bells that have been to Rome to fetch them their eggs.
Dancing In The Streets
In Ireland you wouldn't be surprise to find people dancing in the streets on Easter Sunday. The dancers gather to compete, should they win they will receive a cake.
As much as they celebrate Easter in Ireland is taken very seriously. Hundreds of people gather at the church to light candles. On Easter Saturday it is also common for the priest to come and bless your family, land, and cattle.
A large meal is eaten on Easter Sunday, bringing the family together much like in the U.S. They indulge in lamb and leek soup, as well as a large quantity of eggs. The eggs like in the U.S are often decorated in beautiful colors.
In Yugoslavia it is not uncommon to find a basket with 5 eggs, representing Jesus' wounds.
Holi The Festival Of Colors
Holi is a Spring festival recognized by Hindus, but is gaining in popluarity from non Hindus as well. Celebrated in either the end of February or beginning of March, Holi is a beautiful celebration of the start of the Spring season. A celebration to recognize all that Spring has to offer, fertility, colors, and the end of Winter.
On the eve of Holi communities will come together for a bonfire, dancing and singing enjoying spending time with their friends and family. The celebration doesn't end there however! The next day Holi begins with a very colorful introduction. Children have fun running around spraying colored powder and water at each other, as the elders place colored powder on their loved one's faces. After the color celebration loved ones gather together to indulge in a beautiful meal, with plenty of sweets.
Intro photo thanks to Diganta Talukdar
LombinodrAlfonso Lomba- Picture of "Mayores" dancing in a Gaga in San Luis, a rural community in Dominican Republic
Erios30-Image: Fraternidad ArtÃstica y Cultural "La Diablada
Leandro Neumann Ciuffo -Photo of Woman at Carnival
Eliza Raschke- Photo of man selling colors for Holi
All other photos thanks to morguefiles.com