Easter traditions in Europe

by Marta Burgués

There comes one of the most beautiful traditions of the year. Easter or Holy Week, depending on the country in which it is celebrated, always coincides with spring. It is a time of landscape splendour, which allows you to have a getaway for a few days. Easter is celebrated differently in the different countries of Europe. We will tell you why.

From the “mona” for children to the Holy Week processions in Spain

In Spain, Easter traditions have a lot to do with Christianity. On the one hand, processions are usually held to remember the passion and resurrection of Christ. It is a tradition spread by literally every town, but where it is held with greater fervour is in Andalusia. Eating sweets is one of the other customs of these days: in Catalonia, they usually eat the “monas”, cakes which initially had an egg in its central part, but over time they have been transformed into chocolate figures that godparents give to their godchildren.

Easter eggs in England and other European areas

In general, Easter eggs usually go through most of the European countries. In England, for example, Easter Week lasts from Holy Thursday to Easter Monday. The eggs, as in other places, are painted, decorated and given as gifts. Rabbits are also tradition during these days: they are the ones who carry baskets with candy and coloured eggs to houses where there are children. While the egg means fertility, rabbits start having their breeding in the spring, hence the two concepts were unified.

“Explosion of the cart” in Florence

Florentines celebrate Easter with an event that attracts many tourists. It is the Scoppio del Carro (“Explosion of the cart”, in Italian), which takes place on Easter Sunday. And what does it consist of? A cart, dating from 1679, is loaded with fireworks, and escorted by a hundred musicians and soldiers. It leaves from the church of the Holy Apostles to the Cathedral of Florence. There the cart is lit up and the pyrotechnics start. Its origin is totally religious.

Bells do not ring in France

The tradition of Easter eggs, in this case made with chocolate, is also important in France. But what stands out in this tradition is that the bells are no longer heard throughout the country from Holy Thursday to Holy Saturday. It is the silence of the mourning marked by the death of Jesus. There are also processions and “mysteries”, representations of the scenes of the Passion of Christ.

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