How do different countries celebrate the Easter holiday?


With the Easter holiday nearing every day, we are all very excited to prepare for the celebration. However, have you ever considered how differently other families with other cultures from yours may celebrate this tradition? Well, interestingly, it can strongly differ between countries, religions, and beliefs, which makes the holiday even more joyous as it celebrates our identities!

Firstly, the celebration of Easter in France is quite similar to that of Germany, however, there are some key differences. Instead of an Easter bunny bringing chocolates and hiding them in the garden, it is the church bells that ring and from them, the chocolate treats are said to fall out and be sprinkled on the lawns of the children’s families. This comes from the religious aspect of the holiday, incorporating the church further into the celebrations.

Interestingly, Spain and Korea, countries on almost different halves of the globe, tend to celebrate Easter similarly, which is in other words, not really celebrating it at all. They both focus fully on the religious aspects in which Easter Sunday is spent in church as a celebration of the resurrection of Christ. In Spain there are long masses, and then the families stay at home and eat traditional food much like Christmas, spending time with family. In Korea, similar masses are customary, followed by a communal feast, and then going around enlightening those not included about the resurrection.

Germany’s celebration quite contrasts that of the aforementioned catholic religion-oriented countries. Here, chocolate is hidden in the shape of eggs, sheep, chickens, bunnies, and more, left out for children to play a ‘scavenger hunt’ to find them on Easter morning. It is told to them that the easter bunny has come during the night and hidden these treats for them. It is also the opportunity for families to decorate their homes with fake grass and straw, paint eggs together, and much more. In general, Easter is a celebration of the family in Germany, just like those other countries, but in a less religiously oriented way.

Japan has a similar Easter tradition to Germany. Beautiful decorations with painted eggs and cute bunnies in bright spring colors give shops and parks a cheery atmosphere. Because Easter coincides with spring in Japan and sometimes the cherry blossom season, there’s beauty to be seen everywhere.
Easter is a great opportunity for children to have fun and eat some chocolate and snacks! Goodie bags filled with chocolate and other treats may be passed out at kindergartens, and some families might hold Easter day parties as a way for kids and adults to gather, eat some food, and have fun.

Now let’s change our focus to African countries! 

In Ethiopia, Easter is celebrated with special solemnity. There is a particular name for the Ethiopian Easter: Fasika. It is a holiday to celebrate with the family, meet with loved ones, express good wishes, and exchange gifts. Prior to Easter, many Orthodox Christians fast for days, eating no animal products. 

On Good Friday, the church is filled with the fragrance of incense and myriads of lights. All the people hold lighted tapers. Greetings are exchanged, drums are beaten, hands are clapped and singing is heard everywhere. It is a day of preparation for the breaking of this long fasting period. 

On Easter Sunday, in the morning breakfast is prepared with the remains of dinner, families gather to eat, and kids come for the banquet and dress in their best clothes. Elders and priests receive food as a gift. 

Easter in Kenya is extraordinary. In Kenya, Easter celebrations begin on Palm Sunday. The Kenyan children bring palm leaves to church and sing hymns to commemorate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. On Good Friday, the day on which Jesus was crucified, there are processions in many Kenyan cities, re-enacting the Stations of the Cross. The procession and the following crowd will end up at a church where a special service is held to remember the significance of Jesus’ death. 

In fact, President Uhuru Kenyatta urged Kenyans to use the Easter holiday to reflect on their relationship with God.
“Easter is a time for reflection on our relationship with God, especially for us Christians. As we rejoice and celebrate in remembrance of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, let us also remember the less fortunate amongst us by showing compassion to the needy.” 

Overall, Easter is a very special and memorable holiday in many countries all over the world. Why don’t we also use this period to spend our time with our beloved family and friends exchanging gratitude?