I was under the illusion that we didn’t have any strange traditions in America. But then I started thinking about it – about the strange things we do around the holidays – and I realized we have some really bizarre rituals. Basing warm weather on a groundhog’s shadow? Come on. Who are we? So, since Easter’s on its way, I decided to investigate strange traditions and customs affiliated with the holiday. Here, in America, we have the classic egg rolling competitions, colorfully decorated Easter eggs, and an oversized rabbit that drops off baskets of candy. These traditions sound pretty weird, but in comparison with those from around the globe, the old U.S. of A. is looking pretty tame…
I’ve had one once, at a friend’s house (Mom, don’t freak out). Apparently, this is a Polish tradition, but I don’t remember my friend being Polish, so who knows. Anyhow, they carve lambs out of butter and have the small dairy figurine blessed by a priest. This all sounds okay, right? I mean, a lamb made out of butter is a cute way to decorate a table for Easter. But then there’s the way that it’s to be eaten; this dairy delight is to be consumed back to front, leaving its head for as a sacrifice. Creepy.
Apparently, Europe has some fascination with dairy products because to celebrate Easter in Haux, France, they make an omelet. And no, obviously I wouldn’t be mentioning it if it were skillet size. This omelet is made of a whopping 4,500 eggs and is large enough to feed 1,000 people – or basically – most of the town. Cutting that into equal portions must get old pretty quickly.
Yeah, apparently, there is such a thing as an Easter witch. In Northern European countries, such as Sweden and Finland, children get all gussied up in witch attire and partake in some good wholesome Easter fun. I’m all for Halloween all year round, but collecting Easter eggs as a witch does seem slightly strange.
To welcome spring, the fine folks of North Western Europe get together and drag their Christmas trees to a predetermined spot in the countryside. (Can you imagine saving your tree until Easter?) They then set the old firs ablaze to chase away the darkness of winter and enjoy the night dancing and singing around the campfire, drinking ale and having a good time.
In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, whips are NBD. To celebrate Easter, men make a whip, often out of willow, to spank women with. This lovely ritual does have something to do with keeping women pretty and maintaining good health for an entire year, though I can’t quite see how.
About the Author:
"Katie Straw" is the Gourmet Scribe at GourmetGiftBaskets.com, one of the top suppliers of gift baskets in the nation, and currently resides in Manchester, New Hampshire.