2020 is speeding by and already there is another holiday approaching – but that also means a long weekend is around the corner, so rejoice!
Many of us have grown up either celebrating Easter, or at least participating in a chocolate egg hunt here and there, but there are still a few interesting tidbits you might not know about this day of significance.
Here are 10 fun facts from around the world about this upcoming holiday!
1. Egypt: Origin Of The Easter Egg
You wouldn’t necessarily think it, but we have the Egyptians to thank for those colourful eggs the Easter Bunny is supposedly handing out. When tracing the tradition back far enough, it seems as though the Egyptians were the first to see the egg as a symbol of birth and life.
This egg-worship practice slowly spread across the globe – including other cultures who now have spring festivals as part of their traditional practices. Of course, it is also a staple feature of Easter, and one of the first things that comes to mind for many when they think of this holiday.
2. Canada: Home To World’s Largest Easter Egg
Canada can add this little tidbit to its list of claims to fame. The world’s largest Easter egg to date, is a monument constructed in 1978, in Vegreville, Canada. It is made up of bronze, silver and gold colours, which symbolise prosperity.
3. Sweden: The Legend Of The Easter Witches
In both Easter and Finland, a mini-halloween-esque festival takes place on either the Thursday or Saturday preceding Easter Sunday. During the festival, young girls often dress up as witches in old rags and oversized skirts, and go trick-or-treating much like Halloween.
This tradition supposedly stems from the belief that witches would fly to a mountain in Germany in order to associate with Satan prior to Easter – adding a spooky element to this otherwise cheery festival.
4. Ethiopia: The Belated Easter
In the Ethiopian orthodox church, Easter is celebrated a couple of weeks after the rest of the world. Most also abstain from meat and dairy in the 8 weeks leading up to the holiday. Their festivities tend to be on the traditional side, and involve a long church service on the day itself.
5. United States: The White House Celebrations
In America, Presidents in power and their families have been hosting a ‘White House Easter Egg Roll’ since 1878, where members of the public can come, bring their kids and participate!
6. Germany: Thank You For The Easter Bunny
That cute fuzzy creature we all pictured delivering the eggs when we were kids – well, apparently we have Deutschland to thank for that one.
This idea first came about back in the Middle Ages, and was eventually brought to the United States by Dutch settlers in Pennsylvania.
7. Australia: The Easter Bilby
A book published in Australia known as Billy The Aussie Easter Bilby resulted in the rise in popularity of the Easter Bilby!
Bilbies are marsupials, and in some ways can be likened to rabbits with their long and up-standing ears. This Easter, mix it up and have a look for chocolate Easter Bilbies instead.
8. United States: Crazy Expenditure On Easter
Back at it with another Easter-related fact about the US – with sweet treats, decorations and everything else taken into account, Americans spend $131 each on average at Easter time. That’s most definitely a whole heap of chocolate – is this similar to the way you celebrate, or is Easter a low-key affair?
9. San Antonio: Egg Or Birth Cert?
Back in the day, in San Antonio, Easter eggs were eligible to be used in lieu of birth certificates. An egg would be dyed with a person’s name and date of birth – this would actually be accepted by the courts! That’s certainly something to keep in mind when you’re decorating eggs with your kids this year.
10. UK: Hot Cross Buns
Children’s nursery rhymes aside, hot cross buns are in fact a staple traditional Easter food in the UK. This tradition has now spread to many other parts of the world, and is a tasty snack that can be enjoyed as a welcome break from all the chocolate.
Easter is celebrated all around the world, and it’s interesting to see how traditions differ from culture to culture. So whether you’re heading to church, meeting up with the family or just indulging in the occasional sweet treat this Easter, you’re now equipped with hopefully at least one fun fact you never knew about the holiday before.