Easter is either a time of reflection for those in the Christian faith or an excuse for many to get chocolate-wasted. We also look forward to the long weekend and bank holidays that often sees an invasion of different number plates in the country’s coastal towns. No matter the tradition, Easter is the big sigh of relief in the first quarter of the year that we all need. While celebrations may vary among families in South Africa, here is how some nations observing the holiday in colourful, epic and sometimes head-scratchingly weird ways:

1. Germany

Like many other countries in Europe, Easter is recognised as the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus and it also coincides with the coming of spring. In Germany, trees are decorated with embellished easter eggs called Ostereierbaum or Easter Egg Trees. It’s also a custom in Austria, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, Moravia and the Czech Republic.

2. Bermuda

On Good Friday, the shores and skies of Horseshoe Bay Beach are filled with kaleidoscopic colours because of the Bermuda Kite Festival. It is said that the kites are a celebration of the ascent of Christ. Bermudians also dig into fish cakes when it’s Easter.

3. Spain

In Verges, locals observe Easter by having Holy Festival Week or Semana Santa. The culmination of this is Maundy Thursday which commemorates the Last Supper. This festival is called the ‘Dance of Death’ or Dansa de la Mort where people dressed in luminescent skeleton costumes perform dances carrying clocks, scythes and ashes. There is also a procession by hooded penitents and ‘Jesus’ and ‘Mary’ through the town of Verges.

4. Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church celebrates Easter or Fasika one or two weeks after churches in the West and it is considered to be more important than Christmas. After a 56-day fast that includes following a predominantly vegan diet (no meat or dairy products), families dress in white and gather for a gastronomical affair where they enjoy doro wot (spicy chicken stew), Injera (flat-bread) and honey wine.

5. New York, USA

On Easter Sunday, New York City partakes in a tradition that has been around since the late 1800s. The Easter Parade began with the decoration of sanctuaries in churches with Easter flowers. The flower decorations became more flamboyant and stylish over time and by the late nineteenth century, people wore fashionable clothing and paraded down the streets to see the flowers in church. Today, eye-catching Easter bonnets are worn by people of all ages in a procession from 49th to 57th street on Fifth Avenue, Manhattan. The best place to watch is from St Patrick’s Cathedral.

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