In Christian countries, the Easter egg is the preferred gift distributed on Easter Sunday. In Belgium and in the south -west of France, it is the Easter bells that bring the Easter eggs. Since Holy Thursday, the bells of Catholic churches are silent, a sign of mourning. Popular tradition for children said they left for Rome, and they come back on Easter eggs by bringing them sow their passage.
As for Christmas, Alsatians and Germans decorate their home with the approach of Easter. Easter eggs are brought by the Easter Bunny (Osterhase). Chocolates and various decorations , often in the form of rabbits, also adorn shops and apartments. There are also bouquets of Easter on which hangs various painted eggs. Trees in the gardens are also entitled to a multicolored ornament with the arrival of spring; eggs and rabbits are popping up everywhere. Germans, Alsatians and Americans decorate hard boiled eggs with paint or markers.
Americans hope that the Easter Bunny will bring their chocolate bunnies and candies in a woven basket.
In Poland, a gift basket is prepared on Friday, kept without being eaten Saturday and blessed the same day by the priest.
Colomba di Pasqua, an Italian tradition.
In countries with an Orthodox Christian majority , there are many customs that are particularly appealing to children. Eggs are painted to this day , mainly in red, but other colors are also used. There are several popular and religious traditions related to Easter:
- It is exchanged colorful eggs during all holidays Easter and the following week;
- The first painted egg is considered the guardian of the house and so it is preserved;
- Orthodox Easter also carries another very popular tradition that has been lost in Catholic rite (except Poland and Croatia). Once colored or painted eggs, you can choose an egg and the egg decree as lucky. This egg will be used to knock the egg of another person. When you tap the egg of your opponent and you break it, you win the egg . If your egg unsuccessful, then you lose your egg in favor of the winner and it then remains for you to choose a new egg.
- Greece, Russia and Romania it is customary to take home the “holy light” on Holy Thursday after the reading of the Twelve Gospels, and make a sign of the cross above the door with the flame. Keep the holy light forty days without it goes out, bring good luck, according to tradition.
All Orthodox peoples respect for Easter the following custom. Throughout the week, Orthodox Christians greet each other with the exclamation “Christ is risen!” (Христос васкрсе – Serbian Cyrillic, Hristos a înviat – Romanian) which one responds ” He is risen indeed!” (Ваистину васкрсе! in Cyrillic, Adevărat a înviat! in Romanian). In Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the girls color the eggs. They also use the wax they put around the egg Once the colored egg, removed wax creates patterns. Boys weave with reeds and colorful ribbons whips. On the morning of Easter Monday, boys “dress” and go around their neighborhood to “whipping” and watering girls wishing their vows. The girls offer them food and drink, or failing an alcohol drink. Boys leave with decorated eggs, chocolates, etc. The tour ends at noon. This ancient tradition is still celebrated with fun for the boys, at least for girls who must accept this affectionate punishment with a smile.
The Church in the fourth century who introduced the prohibition of eating eggs during Lent and hens continue to lay the eggs laid since the beginning of Lent – was not eaten – were then decorated and delivered. Nowadays, fasting is not strictly required but also the tradition of giving eggs, including chocolate, remained.
The Easter egg is an egg decorated offered on the morning of Easter Sunday. It is often made of edible chocolate or sugar.
Translated and adapted from Wikipedia.