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Expats

Easter Traditions Around the World

If you are moving abroad, there may be different Easter traditions to experience in your new home country. It can be great fun to get involved as a family and a good way of learning about your new culture.

Australia

In Australia, instead of the Easter bunny, the Easter Bilby may pay you a visit, dropping off Easter eggs. The bilby is an endangered species and many chocolate producers include a donation to bilby conservation efforts with the sale of Easter eggs. The Easter bilby is a tradition which started in Australia in the 1960s, it has helped to increase awareness of the plight of this Australian native animal. The poor Easter bunny is not popular as rabbits are an introduced species to the country and often seen as pests who destroy crops and damage land and natural habitats.

As in the UK, there are church services on Easter Sunday and many communities also organise Easter egg hunts for children and Easter craft and bonnet parades. It’s also an important time for sports events including horse racing, the Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race, the Tasmania Three Peaks race and major league football matches. The Stawell Gift is also a popular event, one of Australia’s oldest short distance races, held in Stawell, Victoria.

A chocolate hot cross bun is becoming increasingly popular in Australia, where cocoa is added to the dough before baking. The traditional Easter meal of roast meat (such as lamb) is also eaten by many Australian families on Easter Sunday.

Germany

In Germany, an Easter Tree is a popular household decoration. You may wish to consider purchasing one along with some Easter decorations to hang on it if you are moving to Germany. Alternatively, you can hang eggs on the branches of outdoor trees.

The Easter bunny is actually an Easter hare in Germany, as it is in other European countries such as Austria and Switzerland.

Spain

Easter in Spain or Holy Week known as ‘Semana Santa’ is celebrated across the country with many street processions and parades. Seville in particular is known for its extensive celebrations with thousands coming to see the street floats and marching bands. In addition, hundreds of processions take place in Malaga during Semana Santa involving the use of many candles, incense and flowers. Saetas (emotional religious songs) are often sung  at the processions.

Mexico

Easter is a very important holiday in Mexico with many religious celebrations taking place across the country and schools usually having at least two weeks off. Mexicans often eat capirotada at Easter which is a bread pudding made using fruit, nuts and spices. The dish is considered to symbolise the suffering of Christ and is typically eaten on Good Friday. A lot of fish is also eaten at this time of year.

There are also many regional differences in Easter traditions in Mexico. Some regions have adopted some Spanish traditions such as silent, candlelit processions. Others regions have Passion Plays with actors portraying the last week of Jesus’ life.

The good news for any children moving to Mexico is that sweets and ice cream are popular at this time of year, especially those made from local fruits and coconuts.

Wherever you are in the world, John Mason International wishes all of its customers and colleagues a Happy Easter!

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