This is Holy Week – a time when Christians around the world celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Holy Week always takes place the week before Easter, but does not include Easter itself.
Across the world, people will celebrate in different ways. Some have fasted from certain aspects of life for the 40 days up to Easter in a season known as lent. Others have increasing celebration and church functions. Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, marking Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem before his crucifixion and is often celebrated with a parade similar to the one listed in the New Testament.
Maundy Thursday is then celebrated, marking the Last Supper that was held the night before the crucifixion –most are familiar with the famous Leonardo da Vinci painting displaying this scene. Good Friday follows after, marking the death of Jesus and his resurrection is celebrated Sunday.
Most people are familiar with the idea of the Easter Bunny and dying and searching for Easter Eggs, which make up a broader approach to the season. This week, we wanted to take you through some of the unique ways different cultures celebrate this special time of year:
Greece: Many Greeks are Orthodox Christians, and thus celebrate different holidays during the Holy Week than the West. Many Greeks will refrain from meat or anything that comes from an animal in a show of fasting for the entire season.
India: Parades with music and dancing abound in the festivities of the week leading up to Easter. The ending is a large mass, and it should be noted that the Christians, Muslims, and Hindus have a history of being at peace during this time despite the differences in beliefs.
Germany: There are unique and some might say peculiar ways to signify the Holy Week in Germany, including eating solely green food and burning old Christmas trees.
England: Pancakes may not be what you expect during the Holy Week, but it’s certainly how England celebrates the day known as “Shrove Tuesday.” Towns will make Pancakes and then race with them along with other various competitions.
Philippines: The Moriones Festival is a unique celebration among others in the Philippines during this time. People dress up in intricate Roman soldier masks, reenacting traditional stories as well as the walk of Christ to Calvary.
Norway: Here’s a unique one. Crime fiction and murder mysteries are the foundation of family time in Norway during the Easter season. Stories will be printed on milk cartons, television channels will re-direct programming to fit the insatiable need for a crime story, and the roots of the tradition seem to all only be speculation.
Poland: Who needs candy when you can have a giant butter lamb?
How are you celebrating this Holy Week and Easter season? CAI wishes a happy holiday to you and your family!