5 strange Easter traditions around the world
Although many Christian religions celebrate Easter, the traditions which surround the holiday vary from country to country.
Here are five eyebrow-raising traditions around the world:
1. Whip your wife, Czechoslovakia
In T&T we ‘beat the bobolee’ but apparently in Czechoslovakia during Easter, whipping one’s wife with a small braided whip (pomlázka) is the tradition instead.
According to sources the whipping is more playful than it is abusive and is supposed to encourage good health. The idea is that anyone hit with the whip will be healthy and happy during the upcoming year.
2. Easter-Crime, Norway
Norway celebrates a tradition involving Easter crime. Rest assured, this does not mean committing crimes during Easter, rather, ‘Paaskekrim’ or ‘Easter-Crime’ refers to the tradition of reading mystery books or watching televised crime detective series on television.
Many families take a vacation during Easter week and spend time playing board games, reading mystery novels, and watching ‘whodunit’ programmes on television.
3. Butter Lamb, Poland
Love butter? Love lamb? Then the Polish tradition of butter carved into the shape of a lamb makes perfect sense.
‘Baranek Wielkanocny’ or Easter lamb is an important Easter tradition in Poland. It represents the Jesus as the Lamb of God. A white banner with a red cross is usually added to the lamb. Flags in other colours exist too. The lamb is always present at the Easter table when a priest blesses a meal.
4. Get out of jail free, Spain
In Malaga, Spain, Catholics stuck in prison might have the good fortune to be pardoned and released from jail.
According to The Local, the tradition stems from an incident in 1759, a riot broke out in a Malaga prison after inmates found out Easter processions would be cancelled due to a plague outbreak.
They forced their way out, carried Jesus’ image through the streets and then miraculously returned to their cells.
King Charles III was so impressed that from that day on he decided to free two dozen jailbirds every Easter. The tradition lives on to this day.
5. Shooting Easter Bunnies, New Zealand
In New Zealand, the height of Easter celebrations involves hunting and killing rabbits. However, although the practice seems cruel, many say it’s necessary as rabbits pose a threat to the environment and crops.
The team that bags the most bunny kills is also given a monetary reward.
What other strange Easter traditions have you heard of?
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