UK – One very famous U.K. Easter tradition is the giving out of ‘Maundy Money’ by the Queen on Maundy Thursday. Centuries ago it was tradition that the reigning King or Queen would wash the feet of a few of poor people, the number of people being the same as the monarch’s age. This was to remember that Jesus washed his disciples feet before the Last Supper.
Over the years the tradition has changed. Now the Queen, carrying a small pomander or bouquet of sweet herbs, gives little purses of money to a few chosen men and women. The coins are special little silver pennies and the purses are made of soft leather and are closed with a drawstring. The ceremony is held at Westminster Abbey, in London, every other year. In the years when it isn’t held at Westminster Abbey, the Queen distributes the Maundy Money at different cathedrals in the country.
Portugal – On Good Friday in Portugal, large bonfires are lit. People burn straw dolls made to look like Judas on them.
Brazil – One of the biggest carnivals in the world happens in Rio de Janeiro at the Mardi Gras or Shove Tuesday celebrations to start Lent. The streets are filled, over several days leading up to Shrove Tuesday, with large processions of people marching, singing and dancing. People taking part in the parade dress up in very bright exotic clothes.
Ethiopia – During Lent in Ethiopia, Christians don’t eat or buy any animal products like meat, eggs, butter, milk, yogurt, cream and cheese. On Palm Sunday, people wear head bands and rings made of palm leaves with crosses marked on them.
Greece – On Easter morning, a soup made of Lambs stomach is sometimes eaten for breakfast! The rest of the lamb is roasted and eaten for the main meal. A traditional Greek Easter cake is made with Oranges and Almonds in it. It is eaten with a spicy orange sauce poured over it.
France – In France, Church Bells do not ring on Good Friday or Easter Saturday. Sometimes children are told that the bells have gone off to see the Pope! Boxwood branches are sometimes used instead of palm leaves. They are put over doors in houses to bring good luck to the people in the house.
Italy – On Easter Day in Italy, the Pope presides over a very large Mass Service in St Peter’s Square in the Vatican City. The service is a place of Pilgrimage to Catholics and is broadcast on Radio and T.V. all over the world. In the Palm Sunday services and celebrations, Olive Branches are often used instead of Palm leaves.
And from all of us here at GoLocalise: Happy Easter! Frohe Ostern! Felices Pascuas! Joyeuses Pâques! Gelukkig Pasen! Buona Pasqua!