Happy Easter!

We are spending the holiday in New Delhi this year, where Easter celebrations are few and far between. But there are many traditions currently being practiced around the world, and there is a surprising range to them.

While we are used to bunnies and chocolate eggs in our home countries, others have a diverse variety of customs to celebrate this time of year.

Exploding carts in Florence – This Italian city celebrates Easter with a bang! A wooden cart is filled with fireworks and set off. This display is said to bring peace and good luck for the new year.

A cheese race around the village – Meanwhile, in Panicale, there is an annual cheese wheel rolling race for “Little Easter,” on the Monday after.

Ribbons in Costa Rica – In hopes of answered prayers, people tie long ribbons to an icon of Christ during Easter week. The color of the ribbons represents their requests. The finished product is then paraded around the city, and the ribbons are later removed and sold as good luck charms.

Easter bells in France – Rather than receiving candy from the Easter Bunny, French children get their treats from bells that have flown to Rome to be blessed and filled with sweets by the Pope. This tale began as an explanation for why bells are not rung in the days leading up to Easter – a custom that honors the trial, crucifixion, and death of Christ.

Breaking clay pots in Greece – On the island of Corfu, the resurrection of Christ is celebrating by throwing clay pots off of balconies and watching them break.

Water fights in Poland – The day after Easter is spent indulging in a giant water fight. It is traditionally men and boys holding the buckets and girls getting soaked. But most girls don’t mind. Superstition says that the most drenched girls will be married within the year.

A rabbit hunt in New Zealand – Bunnies still find a place in New Zealand’s Easter traditions, but with a darker twist. There is a traditional rabbit hunt that takes place every year, awarding the hunter who bags the most rabbits. This celebration helps New Zealand farms, as wild rabbits often eat their crops.

There are many more Easter and springtime festivities around the world. Have you ever celebrated in a different country ? What new traditions did you see?