Everybody loves spring, right? Nice weather, longer days, more abundance of outdoor outings…and, of course, yearly Easter egg hunts! That’s right, the Easter bunny’s around the corner and we can’t wait to join all the fun with our family, especially if there are little kids around. But, how do other countries celebrate this time of year? Easter is a religious holiday highly observed in many parts of the world, more revered than festive. In other latitudes, on the other hand, it means embracing fun and quirky customs that you wouldn’t dare to imagine. Want to be surprised? Then join on this journey through some of the oddest and most unique Easter traditions around the world!

Flying Kites (Bermuda)

It’s Good Friday on the island of Bermuda, and people are already outside flying their artisanal kites. Adorned with bright colors and designed in a wide array of designs, the kites take into the skies as part of the Easter weekend celebrations that take place every year at the British isle. The origins of this “KiteFest” could hardly be more bizarre. According to legend, it all started when a schoolteacher tried to show his Sunday school students in a practical way how Jesus ascended into the skies after his resurrection. The inspiration came in form of a human-shaped kite, which the professor used to illustrate the concept in a fun and colorful way. No wonder most of the kites displayed in Bermuda nowadays have a cross as part of their structure. There are different categories for all participants to compete in, from Most Innovative Design to Best Traditional Kite. Add a good feast of hot cross buns and cod to the mix and you’ll be ready to nail Easter as Bermudians do!

Cooking Huge Omelets (Haux, France)

Easter Monday is kind of a big deal in this Southern France town. After all, you don’t get to cook a gigantic omelet every day. And when we say gigantic, we really mean it: more than 15,000 eggs are used yearly to feed around 1,000 people when Easter comes! As always, the true roots of this tasty tradition might be difficult to track, although it’s said that it was Napoleon himself who ordered the villagers to cook a humongous omelet to feed his army after he was treated to a particularly memorable meal the day before.

Whipping People (Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary)

We’re sure you never thought you could get spanked as part of Easter festivities. But, if you’re a woman who happens to be in certain parts of Eastern Europe, it’s something you should definitely keep in mind! Don’t worry, though. It’s meant to be a harmless and cheerful celebration with just a little bit of playful whipping. Yeah, you read that right. For decades, males used to take the streets armed with “Easter whips” made with willow branches to “whip” girls as a way to keep their health, beauty, and fertility throughout the year. Today, men can be spanked too, and it’s mostly couples and members of the same family who engage in this bizarre and fun practice every Easter Monday.

Throwing Water (Hungary, Poland, and Greece)

Still shocked about that “playful whipping”? Well, turns out that, in some European countries, women throw full buckets of water to their husbands if they get home after 12 o’clock. Payback time! All jokes aside, the tradition of throwing water in the wake of Easter is quite popular and it’s practiced in many different ways depending on the region. In Poland, for example, it’s called Śmigus-dyngus (or Wet Monday), a festive battle royale where everybody gets soaked (it’s said that the girls taking part in this event will get married that year). During the “sprinkling”, Hungarian males spray their beloved with perfumed water in exchange for a kiss. And residents of the Greek island of Corfu throw pots and other recipients filled with water through their balconies, right into the streets. So, what’s with so much water? It’s believed that water purifies, cleanses, and heals, and that’s why it plays such an important part in these countries’ Easter festivities.

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Engage in “Criminal Activities” (Norway)

We know what you’re thinking. But, no, you don’t need to be too alarmed. We’re not talking about a nightmarish “The Purge meets Easter” scenario here. Quite the contrary: this amazing Norse tradition encourages people to cozy up inside a cabin to read books, enjoy movies, and binge-watch TV shows about crimes and police investigations. Even milk cartons feature short detective stories when Easter comes. Now, how cool is that? Apparently, it all began in 1923, when a marketing-savvy publisher decided to promote a new crime novel right on the front pages of the newspapers. The ad created so much impact that some people even thought they were reading about a true crime instead of the preview of a work of fiction. War of the Worlds much? Maybe, but it’s still a great story that deserves to be revisited every year!

Chocolate Bilbies (Australia)

Let’s put an end to this surprising trip by booking cheap flights in April to the Down Under, where the Easter Bunny is…well, pretty much a pest that! Rabbits are frowned upon in many parts of Oceania due to the devastation they cause to crop fields. So, now what? Enter the bilby (or rabbit-eared bandicoot), an adorable marsupial native to Australia that replaces the rabbit by becoming the chocolatey embodiment of Easter in this part of the world. Even better, the benefits obtained from selling these treats are destined to help save the dwindling population of these cute little beasts.

Do you know any other quirky Easter tradition we should have included here? Let us know in our comments section below!

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About The Author

Content Writer

Born in Barcelona. Raised in Madrid. New Yorker at heart. When he is not geeking out at a comic book convention or binge-watching superhero shows, this bilingual journalist loves to discover secret venues and hidden places around the world to fill his insatiable wanderlust. He also digs into ghost-busting, Bigfoot-hunting, and UFO-sighting. The truth is out there.