Easter is undoubtedly the most important holiday in the Christian culture. But have you ever wondered how Easter looks in different countries? Because the Easter holiday is coming, here is some interesting information which may prove valuable when you are going to spend Easter abroad. You will also see how the word “Easter” is translated into other languages.
Easter in the United Kingdom
The name Easter is derived from the name of a Celtic goddess called Eostre. This deity was said to be responsible for bringing good fortune as well as fertility. Her holiday was organised in order to “say goodbye” to winter and to welcome spring. On that day people were preparing huge bonfires.
Today, English Easter begins on Good Friday and lasts for four days. During this period, people do not have to work and can enjoy leisure time with their families, so in this aspect they are similar to Polish people who also like to spend this time with their relatives. However, contrary to Poles, they do not bring food to church during Holy Saturday. Instead, there are various street festivals organised.
The most important day is Easter Sunday. All families, if it is possible, spend this day together. They also go to church and take a walk or even organise picnics in the parks. When it comes to the food, they eat easter eggs (eggs made of chocolate), hot cross buns (sweet buns with a sign of cross on them) or simnel cake (cake with marzipan). There are also many traditions connected with this day. For example, in the past English children tried to find chocolate eggs hidden in the grass or bushes – called an Easter Egg hunt or they were going from house to house, just like during Halloween, and asking people for sweet eggs.
On Easter Monday there are special offers and discounts in stores. Therefore, it is a good occasion for people to become more active after a few days of relaxation and to search for goods sold at a cheaper price.
Easter in Spain
Spanish people start to celebrate Easter on Easter Sunday, and during this day there are many parades taking place. On Good Thursday there are processions with the figures of saints. This event is very colourful, and therefore it may be interesting especially for tourists. Another custom is the organisation of performances relating to the Passion and Death of Christ.
But what is Easter without tidbits? It appears that Spain has also interesting dishes to be served on this holiday. The most popular ones are spinach with chickpeas and cod in tomatoes. Another tasty dish is called mona de Pascua. It is a round pastry with an egg (either boiled or made of chocolate) in the middle. This dish is given to children by their godparents. Translating those complicated recipes for Easter dishes is definitely a task for another article.
Easter in Russia
In Russia, Easter is celebrated later than in the Catholic Church. Easter is called here Pascha,and forty days before it people should give up eating white bread, meat, fish and dairy products. On Good Friday in the churches you can hear priests reading aloud fragments of the Bible which are devoted to the Passion and Death of Christ. On Holy Saturday, Russian people go to their churches with food, including eggs – the symbol of life. The Great Sunday starts with the ringing of bells which herald the Resurrection. On this day people bestow one another with colourful Easter eggs and little gifts which are supposed to provide them with good fortune. During this day no one eats dishes made of fish as their food is supposed to remind people of good harvests.
Despite the fact that different cultures have different traditions, your friends for sure may like be given Easter cards with holiday wishes in their native language. However, be careful to translate them properly. Do you know how to translate “Happy Easter” into most popular European languages?