All continents have some Easter touch due to the dynamics of Christians in the world. North America has been a melting pot of cultures from its early history. Asia, Canada and Australia too. In the last centuries they received people from all over the world, including Easterners.
Celebrations vary according to the history and temper of the local colour. But what do people have in common based on Easter rituals, when they come from different countries?
#1 Religious ceremonies and going to church, especially on Good Friday and Easter Day
Of course, some Christian-born fellows follow the tradition, some don’t. But it is generally accepted, for example, that in France and Romania, bells do not ring on these two holy days. It is a time of mourning, of silence.
Palm leaves are common in Ethiopia as decorations on Easter Sunday. The same in Eastern Europe and central Europe. France for example. Palm leaves are replaced by boxwood branches or similar trees.
#2 The story & the belief
All countries celebrating Easter honour the resurrection of Jesus three days after crucifixion, and what that means for their faith: eternal life, continuity, the rising of the dead at the Last Judgement.
No doubt about it, the Bible story about the Easter sequence of events that led to Jesus’s crucifixion, death and rise is both history and metaphor for Christian faith.
#3 Easter can be easily celebrated outside one’s native country too due to its popularity
Mobility of Christians and different nations led to the the formation of many clusters Easter believers in different world areas.
#4 Easter Gifts show care & generosity
A common Easter gift is the Easter basket. Not so popular in the slavic region, they get more and more fans every year due to the marketing world. Easter gifts, though, are not so diverse as Christmas ones. There is somehow a trend: chocolate eggs, sweets for children, clothes for the younger ones, fruit, etc. One may rarely hear of a plane ticket gift on Easter. :) Yet, those who avoid the mainstream giving on Easter are definitely entitled to pick off-season presents.
Expats for example, who usually send Easter parcels with everyday goodies ALSO prefer the ONLINE GIFTS like mobile credit. Why? Because it is always useful for the family or friend back home to get some calling credit or/and data and because it is very very easy for the sender. It takes 1 minute on MobileRecharge.com and the gift can get to the most remote mobile in… you name it, Ghana or Bolivia, or else.
#5 Many Christians don’t eat animal products during the Lent, as a sign of “inner withdrawal”
Food abstinence is a common thing on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all the Fridays of Lent. For many Christians who take part in the Church rituals the week before Easter is also deprived of meat. There are always exceptions for people who are ill or old. The reason behind seems not to be the veggies’ motivation of not consuming another creature. The meat is so good that we are asked to give it up at certain times like during the Lent. It is mainly considered a sacrifice!
#6 South and Central American countries have common dishes like the fish
Colombia, El Salvador, Bolivia and others have the fish in common. Haiti too. Although an ocean and a Europe apart, Mexico and Eastern Europe Orthodox countries share the same habit of dying the eggs red or colourful.
#7 Many Easter fans join Egg Hunts
Britain for example, as well as African countries embrace the trend of the Egg Hunt Games. And that is spreading more and more each day.
#8 Common symbols
For example the Bunny is an Easter symbol from pre-Christian fertility tradition, present in German-originated cultures, and spread from Eastern Europe to North America and Asia. The painted eggs though, may not be very common in Latin American countries except maybe Mexico, is ranked as a craft in Far East cultures like the Persian one, the Slavic ones like the Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, and Croatian, and even in Asian ones like China.
#9 Family gatherings
So much to say about this… No matter the religion, all important holidays are celebrated within our beloved community, and the smallest cell is the family. You know better!