Muggings. BDSM. Bonfires. Agatha Christie? TBS looks at the strange and wonderful Easter celebrations from around the world.
Here in America we seek the prizes hidden by the Easter Bunny, which is a normal pursuit here, however our time-honored hunt is a sentiment that is deemed unsuitable in other corners of the world. I’m looking at you, Scandinavia.
Norway – Murder
Their Easter celebrations are a bit odd, which is not to say they are wrong, just different. Other than virtually shutting the country down for a week, they participate in the great family tradition of murder. Murder most foul.
As far as traditions go, it’s a pretty good one. Norwegian families huddle around the television (the programming is strictly whodunnits) to collectively figure out who the murderer is.
I suppose revealing the killer at the start would be the Norwegian equivalent of turning up drunk to the Easter Egg hunt.
Germany – No Dancing
Perhaps referencing Kevin Bacon’s 1984 magnum opus Footloose, any Good Friday rugcuttery is strictly verboten. Good Friday is seen as a day of mourning and any outright display of Disco Fever will earn you a taut Germanic scowl, or perhaps a fine.
Zere vill be nein boogyen!
Cyprus – Sanctioned Pyromania
Over in Orthodox Cyprus, there is a tradition bordering on a rite-of-passage for teenage Cypriots that involves fire. The scallywags of the neighborhood are dispatched to assemble a bonfire (for Jesus), and the largest fire earns the hoodlums bragging rights for the year.
Apparently, due to the lack of surplus wood for the sole purpose of being torched by hormonal tweens, fist fights and the long arm of the law are frequently part of the Easter revelry.
Happy second Birthday, Jesus.
The Former Czechoslovakia – The Easter Whip Muggings
Yeah. So the tradition in this country (now split in two) centers around the casual whipping of the women that the men fancy. Tradition states that if you are good enough to be whipped with the vestiges of gender profiling (and a whip) you grant the whipper money and/or colored eggs. In Bulgaria, they substitute the whip with a bathtub, calling it “Wet Monday.”
Saying that, ice water is also poured on the men that the women fancy. Hypothermia and BDSM. Better than listening to anecdotes about Uncle Daryl’s sickly prostate.
Finland – Watching Grass Grow
The start of Easter coincides with the start of Spring in Finland, so the locals literally watch the grass grow. And there was much rejoicing. However, to church it up for Easter, they ornately decorate the grass with paper. And there was much rejoicing.