With Easter just a hop-skip-and-a-jump away, we thought we would have a look at some of the fascinating traditions that surround the Easter celebrations in three of our holiday destinations. And you'll be surprised at the results, with an old wives tale beauty treatment, rituals to scare away witches ... and a reindeer world cup!
Although a heavily Catholic country, Croatia also has some old wives tale traditions during Easter. One of which being before Palm Sunday (or Flower Sunday in Croatia), people pick flowers – mostly violets – and put them in a bowl of water. On Flower Sunday, each member of the family washes their face in this water, which is believed to help you stay beautiful, energetic all year round – and for the elderly – improve their eyesight!
Thought witches were just for Halloween? Not in Sweden! Just before Easter, children dress up as witches and trick-or-treat with a copper kettle. Why? Well the tradition comes from the belief that witches would fly to the mountains before Easter to cavort with Satan, on their flight back from the mountains, Swedes would light fires to scare than away, a practice that is still honoured today with bonfires and fireworks leading up to Easter Sunday.
Traditionally, Easter was the time of year when the reindeer-herding Sami gathered in Northern Norway to celebrate the end of winter. Today, these celebrations continue with the Sami Easter Festival. From the reindeer racing world cup, to the Sami Film Festival (held in an ice cinema – obviously!) to a music festival similar to the Eurovision, this action packed festival is a highlight, not just for the Sami, but for many tourists too wanting to experience a different sort of Easter celebrations.
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