The World's Weirdest Easter Traditions

24 March 2016

Easter in Australia is pretty basic. Easter eggs, a hunt and plenty of family bonding and sick tummies.

I'm not knocking our culture – I grew up loving it. But if you're tired of the usual chocolate hangover, here are some weird Easter traditions around the world that basically sum up why travel is never boring.

Put your bunny outfit away. You won't be needing it on this trip.

A photo posted by Fela / Sebek (@fotofela) on

1. Wet Monday - Poland

Wet Monday ('Smigus-Dyngus' in the native tongue) is one of those ancient traditions that somehow manages to outlast the common sense of modern generations.

Actually, throwing water on the girls you fancy sounds like a lot of fun. This is what happens on Easter Monday, with many men also 'whipping' their crushes with pussy willow branches.

The girls get to return the gesture on Easter Tuesday, but to be honest these days it's usually just wet whoever you see.

2. Little Witches - Finland

You'd be forgiven mistaking Easter for Halloween in Finland given how many child-sized witches are running around the place.

One of the country's longest-standing traditions involves young girls dressing up in witch costumes and visting homes with decorative twigs to help keep evil spirits at bay.

Accept one of the offerings and you'll need to give a treat in return; usually a chocolate Easter egg.

A photo posted by jonous (@jo_nous) on

3. Breaking Pots - Corfu, Greece

While locals gather in the churches, thousands of tourists gather in Corfu's main square. They all meet at 11am on the dot, when one of the world's most famous Easter traditions begins.

At exactly this time, the people from Corfu (and those just visiting) toss pots from their homes (or wherever they are standing), filling the entire town with the sound of smashing pottery.

Although no one can confirm how this tradition started, popular opinion suggests it stems from Venetians who believed throwing out old objects would yield new items.


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4. Semana Santa - Ayacucho, Peru

Semana Santa (aka 'Holy Week') is Peru's busiest time of the year, with many locals renting out rooms because hotels are full.

The best place to witness the 10-day festival is in Ayacucho, where the streets overflow each day as people gather to see parades, one of which involves using slingshots on bystanders (you were warned).

The festival culminates on the Saturday before Easter Sunday with an all-night party of live music, drinking, dancing and more wild antics.

5. Dyngus Day - Buffalo, New York

America's version of Wet Monday adds more fanfare to proceedings typical of the USA's go-big mentality. The water and pussy willow traditions are upheld, but participants can also enjoy parades, polka bands, polish cuisine and other cultural fun.

Although various cities around the country hold Dyngus Day events, the biggest is found in Buffalo, where America's largest Polish community resides.

6. Murder Mysteries - Norway

One of the strangest Easter traditions we've ever heard about exists in Norway where families gather in their living rooms to watch nightly murder mysteries on TV.

Millions of residents are riveted by the shows, which all come to a conclusion on Easter Monday, marking the end of the holiday period.

Also, during this time almost every store in the country is closed. No school, no work, no midnight maccas run; just classic Norwegian murder puzzles to solve.

7. Kites - Guyana

Come Easter Sunday and Monday, the sky over Guyana will be covered in an array of shapes and colours as locals unleash their handmade kites.

This tradition has become so popular, especially in coastal towns such as the capital Georgetown, that it has literally phased out kites at any other time of the year.

Those fortunate enough to witness the spectacular show are gifted with true cultural immersion.

(Feature Image: Getty)


Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest Easter holiday deals.


Ben Stower

I love the kind of travelling that is one part strategic planning and two parts spontaneous adventure. Whether I'm exploring my local city or a small town in the middle of nowhere, I'm always hoping to find something no one else has discovered.