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Easter Around the World

Easter Around the World

With our Easter bank holiday just passed, we’re delving into Easter traditions from around the world! While you may be used to tucking into some chocolate and seeing eggs, chicks and bunnies, Easter can look quite different in other countries.

In Sweden, Easter might resemble Halloween more to a British audience. For påsk, children dress up as witches in old clothes and go in hunt of sweets around their neighbourhoods. However, this is more of a fair exchange than our Halloween, as they give out paintings and drawings in return for their loot! A traditional Easter lunch is usually pickled herring and spiced Schnapps also feature.

In Haiti, Easter celebrations are colourful, incorporating music festivals and band performances. On Good Friday, children and their parents make and fly brightly coloured kites. Easter food is traditionally fish (dried or boiled) with rice and vegetables. Easter Week then kicks off after Easter Sunday, a tradition going back to 1700s Saint Domingue, where African slaves were forbidden to participate in Easter celebrations by the French. Today, they combine Easter with traditional rara to honour both Jesus and their ancestors.

In Norway, the Easter holidays are full of snow skiing and … crime fiction. Påskekrim, or “Easter crime”, whether it’s TV shows, films or books, goes back to 1923 when publishing house Gyldendal arranged a front-page newspaper advertisement for their new book with the slogan Bergenstoget plyndret I natt (Bergen train looted in the night). People confused the ad for a real news story, the book became an instant hit, and the connection between Easter and crime fiction has remained. Crime TV shows will be specially aired around Easter and book shops do special offers on detective fiction and thrillers.

We hope you have a good Easter weekend if you’re celebrating, whether you’re taking part in traditional festivities where you live or creating your own traditions.

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