Even though there are no other Easter traditions as close to our hearts as Hungary’s, we must not forget that the world is a diverse place and every culture and nation has its own way to celebrate. Here are four local twists on the Christian holidays!
Easter is quite a big event in the Philippines, an island country of a 100 million people. During Holy Week, most of the businesses shut down operations till Black Sunday, or open late and close earlier. Many of the Filipino Christian communities follow Catholic rituals such as processions and feasts, with a number of pre-Hispanic elements mixed in. The procession of Flagellants in certain provinces of the Philippines is probably the most gruesome of the world’s Easter traditions, as it sees Filipinos practice self-crucifixion, whipping their backs with bamboo lashes and carrying wooden crosses across the town.
In the French town of Haux, each year a giant omelet is served up on the main square. The omelet uses more than 4,500 eggs and feeds up to 1,000 people. According to the official backstory, when Napoleon and his army were traveling through the south of France, they stopped in a small town and ate omelets. Napoleon liked his dish so much that he ordered the townspeople to gather their eggs and make a giant omelet for his whole army the next day.
On the morning of Holy Saturday, the traditional “Pot Throwing” takes place on the Greek island of Corfu: people throw pots, pans and other earthenware out of their windows, smashing them on the street. The custom may derive from the Venetians, former rulers of Corfu, who on New Year’s Day used to throw out all of their old items. Others believe the throwing of the pots welcomes spring, symbolizing the new crops that will be gathered in the new pots.
On Good Friday, the Pope commemorates the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) at the Colosseum in Rome: a huge cross with burning torches illuminates the sky as the 14 Stations of the Cross are described in several languages. Mass is celebrated on the evening of Holy Saturday, and on Easter Sunday, thousands of visitors congregate in the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square to await the Pope’s Urbi et Orbi blessing from the 16th century church’s balcony.