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How is Easter Celebrated in Different Cultures?

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

The Easter holiday, mostly known by its christian origins, means hope, freedom and resurrection. Its date, originally jewish, does not have an established day in the christian calendar and takes into account the spring or autumn equinox and the phases of the moon. Each country celebrates Easter in a particular way, regarding the influences and the region.

For Jews, the date is celebrated over a week, starting on the 14th day of the month of Nissan, the first day of the Jewish calendar. While the Christians base themselves in the phases of the moon and celebrate on the first full moon Sunday of spring, or autumn for the southern hemisphere.

The ways Easter is celebrated are many and most of the times uncommon when compared.


In Brazil, the tradition starts on Good Friday when no one eats red meat, while reuniting families for a lunch on Sunday with salted cod as the main dish. Also, the date is known for exchanging chocolate eggs as gifts.


In Greece the celebration of Easter is strongly traditional. During the Holy Week the pastas are more frequent. The Holiday can start on Maundy Thursday instead of Friday and lasts till Monday after Easter.

During these days, people tend to prioritize the company of the family. Thursday’s tradition is to prepare braided brioches and red colored eggs to represent the blood of Christ and life.

Friday is a seclusion day to remember the crucifixion while fasting until the next day. Even at night, there are processions with colorful flowers and candles. Saturday is the day of preparations to commemorate the resurrection at midnight. At the turn of the date, devotees stay in the church to seek a blessing and light a candle, the “sacred flame”.

Thus, Easter Sunday is greeted with fireworks and lots of entertainment. Several typical dishes are prepared, with roast lamb and potatoes.


In Germany, Easter is celebrated from Saturday to Monday. During these days, houses and shop windows are decorated. There is no tradition of chocolate, but that of painting boiled eggs or making an “Easter tree” with empty shells.

Also on Thursday, there is the tradition of eating green food, which marks the new season. On Sunday, there is a traditional breakfast with decorated eggs, homemade brioche and lamb-shaped cake, animal symbol of the date for them.

Little family competitions take place like beating two hard-boiled eggs, the last one to crack wins. In more rural regions it is common to light a bonfire on Saturday’s turn.


In Spain, a country of Catholic tradition, the Holy Week holiday takes place on Thursday and Friday. The strong tradition is celebrated in a particular way depending on the region.

Several processions take place during Easter week in Andalusia, and the most famous one happens from Thursday to Friday, called La Madruga. In Verges, they have the “Danza de la Muerte” (dance of the dead), when adults and children dance dressed as skeletons. The dance is on Holy Thursday and is a tradition taken from the 14th century, when the Great Plague was devastating Europe. Dancing was a way to fight the plague.

The city of Cuenca organizes the “drunken procession” in which the “turbos” (name of the participants) get drunk to disrupt the event. The tradition symbolizes the people who mocked Jesus during his earthly life. In the small town of Valverde de la Vera happens the procession of the “impalaos”, where people are tied to wooden crosses by ropes and wear crowns of thorns while kneeling in prayer.

Among typical Easter foods there are: Mona de Pascua, a sweet bread stuffed with boiled egg; Torrijas, which are a kind of french toast; Hojuelas, a thin fried dough; and Buñuelos de Viento, similar to the Brazilian raincake.

However, chocolate eggs are not popular with Spanish people.


Finns celebrate Easter with chocolate eggs and painting boiled eggs or just the shells.

The Sunday before the celebration, children dress up as witches, decorate branches with ribbons and colorful feathers while reciting verses. The branch serves to bless and scare away evil spirits, and children exchange them for sweets and chocolates.

During Thursday and Good Friday, masses in churches serve to remember the suffering of Jesus.

Hallelujah Saturday is marked by the loose witches, bonfires are lit to scare away evil spirits. On Easter Day, Sunday, the houses are specially decorated with yellow flowers and green grass.

During the traditional lunch, lamb shank is served, Mãmmi (malt and rye flour pudding) and Pasha, another type of pudding made from chin.


The holiday in France is on Monday, after Easter. The tradition comes from the Middle Ages, because at the time, every week following Sunday was considered a day off to return from the pilgrimage to Rome.

Just like in Germany, the French often decorate trees with painted eggs. Sunday, the end of Lent, is marked by lunch with lamb. The animal is related to Christian symbology, which refers to Christ, purity, innocence and justice.

For the French, it is the church bells that bring the eggs. Formerly it was believed that, while they didn’t play on holy days, they were being blessed by the Pope and on the way back they dropped the eggs along the way.

In Bessières and Mazères, since 1973, on Easter Monday the knights of the World Brotherhood of the Giant Easter Omelet make an omelette with 15,000 eggs.


In Australia, the Easter Bunny stands aside, the animal symbol is Bilby, a marsupial. The reason is that rabbits are not a native animal, they become pests of environmental damage when introduced into the country.


In Texistepeque, a city 80 kilometers distant from the capital of El Salvador, they have a ritual. In which people dress up as Jesus and the devil for fights, so that Jesus’ victory can represent good winning.


In Guatemala, long colorful rugs are made by the faithful. Special clothes are used, in addition to candles and incense. On Sunday, the traditional lunch. Processions also take place along with floats.


The date of Easter for Indians is marked by the Holi festival. With Hinduism as the main religion, the festival celebrates the appearance of the god Krishna, considered the supreme god. Tradition is marked by colored powder, dancing and special foods.


Christianity is not so strong in South Korea, the few supporters exchange decorated boiled eggs instead of chocolates during the date, that is not considered a holiday.


Easter in China refers to ancestry. On this date, the Chinese celebrate a festival, Ching-Ming, in which people visit family tombs and offer food and sweets.


In many countries rabbit and eggs are symbols of Easter. In addition to the date marking the rebirth of Jesus Christ after the crucifixion on Friday, Easter is also symbolized by fertility, which is linked to birth.

Thus, the rabbit was adopted by many countries for being a very fertile animal that reproduces on a large scale. Eggs, on the other hand, also refer to birth, despite having no relation to the mammalian animal.


Passover is, first of all, a Jewish feast, which commemorates the liberation of the Hebrew people. The meaning of the date is of liberation and hope for the Hebrews, who were enslaved for years, until the ten plagues of Egypt sent by God, that made Pharaoh free the people.

Furthermore, the word Easter (or Passover) comes from the Hebrew Pesach, which means “passage”, symbolizing the transition to freedom.

The Christian version celebrates the resurrection of Christ, who was crucified on Good Friday. Sunday closes Holy Week and remembers Jesus’ last supper with the apostles.


The article above was edited by Ana Beatriz Aith.

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Victória Abreu

Casper Libero '25

Estudante de jornalismo na Cásper Líbero, pisciana curiosa, gosto de aprender e falar de tudo um pouco