When Bunnies Don't Lay Eggs

Image credit: BBC

Lesser-Known Easter Traditions From Around the World

Easter is just around the corner for the Catholic and Protestant world and coming soon for the Orthodox. The Easter bunny and the colorful eggs are probably the most widespread symbols of the holiday. But all around the world, there are different customs, which people adopted in order to celebrate the most important holiday in the Christian calendar. Let's take a look at some of them!

Criminal Norway

In 1923, just before Easter, a creative book publisher in Norway decided to advertise his latest novel in a rather unusual way. The title "Bergen train looted in the night" was printed on the front page of the popular Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten. Many people believed this was a real event and the hustle caused by this led to the enormous popularity of the book. Since then on Easter weekend Norwegians get in comfortable clothes and read crime novels or watch crime shows.

Witches and Candy

While still in the North, we can not miss another tradition. In Sweden and Finland, people used to believe that on Thursday before Easter the witches were gathering to worship the devil and then on Easter Sunday were trying to blend with the normal people and go with them to the church. Nowadays, on Maundy Thursday kids dress as witches and go around the houses to ask for candy and other sweets. In addition, some people build bonfires to scare away the witches returning from the gathering.

Image credit: HejSweden

The Easter Soup

Only once a year, during Holy Week, the Ecuadorians are cooking a special soup called Fanesca. Each family has its own recipe and even a competition attracting hundreds of restaurants is organized in the capital Quito. What is common is that the soup should contain 12 beans and grains. People believe they are symbolizing the 12 apostles. The preparation is so time-consuming, that it proves one's dedication to the holiday. Here you can find an easy recipe, should you decide to give it a try at home.

Image credit: Wikipedia


There were no rabbits in Australia before 1788, when they were first brought for hunting purposes. Once released in nature, they reproduced so much, that they become a pest and caused huge damage to the harvests. Since then, they are not very much loved by Australians. This is the reason down there they have the Easter Bilby. It's a small marsupial with long years and is native to the continent. Recently, it has become endangered, so part of the revenue from the sale of chocolate bilbies around Easter goes to preservation initiatives.

A related tradition is the Great Easter Bunny Hunt in neighbor New Zealand, where farmers and local folk go to a real hunt in order to save the land from the "rabbit pest" and to get a trophy and a stimulating money prize.

Let's Get Wet

Called Vízbevető in Hungary and Śmigus-Dyngus in Poland, another interesting tradition exists in Eastern Europe. On Easter, Sunday or Monday, young men are following girls they like and throwing water on them. Originally, a cleansing ritual from the pre-Christian times, it has become a perfect way to keep the holiday mood high and to help young men express their sympathy for a certain girl. Nowadays, the tradition is frequently transformed and instead of water some people just spray a bit of perfume on their "victim", but it is still a good excuse to ask for a long longed kiss in return.

SWS Society would like to wish you and your families a Happy Easter with the hope that this is the last year we are going to celebrate it under limitations!

Quotes to reflect on: Roland Barthes
N₂O - Where Science Meets Fun


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Wednesday, 14 April 2021

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