We asked the MyHeritage international community managers to describe how the holiday is celebrated in their own countries, with a focus on the family aspects.
How do you celebrate Easter as a family? Please share with us in the comments below.
Denie Kasan, MyHeritage’s Netherlands community manager.
Children have a great time at Easter in the Netherlands. They search for chocolate eggs their parents hide for them and eat all the eggs they can find. At (the Christian) school, kids usually paint eggs before Easter and enjoy Easter breakfast together.
On Easter Monday, many people visit shopping malls, especially those sell furniture.
Elisabeth Zetland, MyHeritage’s French community manager.
Joyeuses Pâques! (Happy Easter!)
For all children, whether in Switzerland or France, the egg hunt is a major tradition. Parents hide the eggs in their garden, inside the house or outside in a park and children run in all directions to fill their baskets as quickly as possible – with as many eggs as they can find!
Javier Eskenazi, MyHeritage’s Spanish community manager.
In all Spanish speaking countries, Easter is a national holiday and many businesses are closed until Easter Monday. Many businesses close on Jueves Santo (Holy Thursday), making the holiday a four-day weekend.
Families gather on Easter day for a meal. Afterwards, they enjoy a hollow chocolate egg or Kinder egg (a chocolate egg with small candies or toys inside). Traditionally, a bread ring topped with sprinkles, candied fruit, pastry cream and/or chocolate drizzles called rosca de Pascua, is served.
Silvia da Silva, MyHeritage’s German community manager.
Easter is a lot of fun for me and my family. The more children in the family, the more fun it is! On Good Friday, I visit my parents and brother. My father usually makes a nice fish dish, as we don’t eat meat on Good Friday.
On Saturday, we prepare everything for Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. We decorate our “Easter tree" with nice eggs and rabbit figures and we buy all the chocolates and goodies for the children. The adults hide these in the garden, if there is one. Before my parents bought their house, we had an apartment and the goodies where hidden inside. We bake cookies and cakes with the help of the children.
On Saturday evening, the younger people go to see the Easter bonfire, hang out and party!
On Sunday morning, our family goes to church. Afterward, we go to a restaurant or have lunch together at home. As my father loves to cook, we usually eat at home and go outside. That’s when the children start to look for their holiday goodies. It's fun to see them searching and finding the sweets. We spend the whole day in the garden and most of the day is spent eating, playing and talking.
On Monday, it's picnic time. We meet in a park, usually the city park, and we have a barbecue. If the weather is good enough, we also go swimming in the park’s lake.
I love Easter time and spending these days with the ones I love. It's really fun!
Sara Silander, MyHeritage’s Scandinavian community manager.
In Sweden, Easter is celebrated in a unique way resembling Halloween. During the days around Easter, children dress up as witches, with dresses, aprons and kerchiefs on their heads. They also paint their cheeks red, draw freckles on their face and go with their parents to knock on doors and ask for candy. Before they go out, the children draw small pictures to give to the people that give them candy. Many children bring a broom along when they go out. The children dress up according to folklore that says that witches on Maundy Thursday flew to Blockula (Blåkulla in Swedish) on their brooms.
Aaron Godfrey, MyHeritage’s UK and USA community manager.
Easter in England is an eclectic mix between old traditions and religious customs and practices including church services. One popular activity, which gets all the family involved, is Easter egg hunting (and more importantly, eating!). Another custom - Morris Dancing - sees Morris dancers dressed in traditional clothing dance around the maypole.
Chocolate aside, Easter is family time. Good Friday and Easter Monday are national holidays, so people enjoy a four-day weekend!
In the US, Easter is commemorated with religious services, Easter egg decorating and hunting, but it’s not a Federal holiday.
Spring time also sees Jewish people around the world celebrating Passover (Pesach) which commemorates their exodus from slavery to freedom. Jewish families all over the world gather together for a special meal called a Seder, to retell the story of their exodus. Unleavened bread called matza is eaten, and the week-long holiday is also celebrated with traditional and delicious holiday foods made only at this time of year. We wish all our Jewish readers a very happy Passover!
We’d love to hear how you celebrate Easter and Passover. Share your experiences and family memories in the comments section below.
Happy Easter and Happy Passover!