Uncommonly Coastal

Beyond Chocolate Bunnies: Happy Easter from Around the World

While chocolate bunnies and colorful eggs may steal the spotlight, different coastal regions around the world offer many unique and intriguing stories. In these seaside countries, the celebration of Easter goes beyond the treats to reflect on the events of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These coastal communities have combined their own cultural rituals with those traditional religious customs to make it their own.

Happy Easter from All Over

Whether they are throwing pots or participating in water battles, coastal Easter celebrations have evolved over time into diverse and creative traditions of faith and culture.  We put together a list of the more interesting rituals from a variety of coasts around the world. You’ll find a few that are simply hard to believe.

chocolate bunnies

Joyeuses Pâques from France

In France, for example, Easter celebrations aren’t only about chocolate eggs… they’re about epic culinary feats with regular eggs. Enter the Brotherhood of the Giant Omelettes, a group of dedicated foodies who have been celebrating this holiday since 1973 in the charming town of Bessières. Imagine a massive gathering of cooks armed with wooden spoons as large as oars and a gigantic four-meter-wide pan. These are used to whip up an omelette of legendary proportions using a mind-boggling 15,000 eggs! 

Every year, this town square is transformed into a culinary arena. There’s a roaring fire blazing beneath the giant pan, and the sound and aroma of sizzling eggs fills the air. This mouth-watering spectacle draws crowds of onlookers from far and wide. Thousands are eager to witness the magic unfold and, if they’re lucky, get a taste of this enormous creation. 

chocolate bunnies

Legendary Proportions

Supposedly, the inspiration for this omelette stems from none other than the legendary French military leader, Napoléon Bonaparte. As the story goes, Napoléon and his troops passed through Bessières and sampled an omelette so delicious that it left them craving more. So, the townsfolk rallied to create a giant version fit for an army.

Thus, a tradition was born, blending history, legend, and a whole lot of eggs into an Easter event that continues to this day. So, if you’re ever in Bessières, France around Easter time, be sure to join the festivities and see – and sample – for yourself. 

In addition, there are also individual egg activities. Locals dye and decorate their eggs and hide them for others to find. Some families will roll the eggs across the lawn to see whose egg is fastest. Also, they will tap eggs together to see whose egg breaks last, and that person is the winner and will receive good fortune. And because it’s France, you can bet there will be some delicious chocolate bunnies.


Felices Pascuas from Guatemala

Next, Guatemalans enjoy a variety of activities for the holiday, but the creation of the Semana Santa Alfombras is probably the most well-known. In English, these Holy Week Carpets are colorful, meaningful, and involve thousands of participants.

To start, many of the roads in Guatemala are made of cobblestone. During Easter week, local artists will stencil or draw elaborate scenes and patterns of both religious and traditional themes. Then, family members and invited friends gather from all over the country to fill in the designs with things like colorful vegetables, fruits, flowers, sawdust, and even chocolate. These items are put in place to form the Holy Week Carpets that will cover the streets beautifully.

                            chocolate bunnies

All Gone

Sadly, these amazing “rugs” do not last long because on Good Friday, they hold large Easter processions through the streets. It is considered an honor to carry the heavy floats in the parade, but as you can imagine, the carpets are trampled. After they pass, the beautiful carpets are no more and there is an immediate cleanup of all the mess left behind. 

It’s a Hike

Another one of their special activities is a hike up the Hill of the Cross.  It can be done any day throughout the year, but Easter encourages many more people to the top. This location offers great views of the incredible city of Antigua below and is ideal for prayer and reflection. 

Chocolate bunnies


καλό Πάσχα from Corfu

Continuing on in Greece, there’s a tradition that’s been around since the 16th century, and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen. From their balconies, locals actually toss clay pots of all sizes down to the streets below. This obviously makes a huge mess, but it is a symbolic act of starting fresh for the New Year. It represents letting go of the old to make way for the new. And it’s believed to ward off evil spirits, too!

                    Chocolate bunnies  Chocolate bunnies

So, if you find yourself on Corfu during Easter, make sure to watch out for flying pottery. It’s hard to believe that intentionally making such a mess and disturbance with this ancient tradition happens on such a breathtakingly beautiful island.  

Happy Easter from Bermuda

Next, we see that the most popular Holy Week tradition observed in Bermuda is also the most beautiful. The island residents hand make colorful kites, as kite flying is their favorite pastime around Easter. Supposedly, this custom began when a local Sunday school teacher attempted to explain Christ’s ascension to Heaven to his class using a kite.

Chocolate bunnies

On Good Friday, masses head over to Horseshoe Bay Beach to see the annual Kite Festival. There are competitions for the largest, smallest and other categories of these homemade kites. (Some are so large that several people are needed to hold them up.)

Bermudians make these unique kites with extremely long tails. Many are a kaleidoscopic, hexagonal shape and larger ones can be octagons. They form a cross or star shape with sticks and then wrap string around them. Finally, they weave colorful tissue paper into the strings.  This type of kite is called a “hummer” because they make a buzzing sound as they fly. This buzz is known as “the sound of Bermudian Easter.”

Chocolate bunnies

Better Than Chocolate Bunnies

Another stunning sight in Bermuda is a view of their beautiful Easter lilies. Because these flowers are so spectacular, Bermuda gives some to Buckingham Palace every year as a gift.

Chocolate bunnies

Lastly, you’ve no doubt heard of Bermuda’s traditional Easter dish – hot cross buns. These and codfish cakes are a highlight of their holiday meal.

chocolate bunnies

Hyvää Pääsiäistä from Finland


Easter in Finland is a bit like Halloween. The children wear witch costumes ­and head out to make their rounds. And we aren’t talking about just a few kids. All of them are going door-to-door to share rhymes and wishes for a year filled with health and happiness for their neighbors. 

Anything for a Chocolate Bunny

In appreciation, they are rewarded for their chants with treats such as chocolate bunnies, eggs, or coins.

Furthermore, these witches carry willow twigs adorned with vibrant feathers and delicate paper decorations. The purpose of these is to ward off any lingering mischievous spirits.

chocolate bunnies

Glad Påsk from Sweden

In Sweden, Easter is celebrated in-between March and April and is the oldest and most important Christian holiday. Just like in Finland, kids dress up as witches – with brooms and cauldrons – and visit nearby homes to ask for candy. The kids offer the neighbors some decorated willow branches or drawings – with hopes of chocolate bunnies as a reward.

The legend tells that Swedish witches would go out before Easter to party with the devil. To make sure the witches won’t return, Swedes burn big bonfires on Easter Sunday.

In addition to the witches, there are the more traditional Easter baskets decorated and filled with chocolate bunnies, eggs, candy, and toys. Best of all – supposedly, the Easter Bunny himself hides them and kids (and some grownups!) search the house for the hidden goodies.

Cáisc shona dhuit from Ireland

Conversely in Ireland, Easter is a time of long-standing traditions that have been carried down through centuries of history. Long before Christianity arrived, ancient Celts celebrated the arrival of spring with large festivals and bonfires. In addition, families and friends would exchange gifts to mark this season of renewal. These age-old customs are blended with their Christian beliefs over time to create their unique celebrations.

For devout Christian families, Easter is a time of reflection and celebration. In observance of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, believers will attend special Church services. The Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night holds particular importance, as they light a special candle to symbolize the radiant light of Christ’s resurrection.

Exceptional Eggs

In addition to the religious observances, Irish families decorate Easter eggs with intricate designs and hide them for children to find. These eggs also symbolize new life and rebirth.

Similar to other countries we’ve visited, Easter Sunday brings Irish families together for a feast of roast lamb, colcannon, and soda breads. Colorful floats covered with spring flowers bring the communities together for the parades. Traditional music fills the streets, and the Easter Bunny makes his appearance to thrill the young at heart with, of course, chocolate bunnies and candy.  It is also popular to participate in the age-old customs like rolling the Easter eggs down the green hillsides. Again, this symbolizes the joy of renewal and new beginnings.

Happy Easter from Australia

Easter Down Under looks quite different than in other parts of the world.  While others are accustomed to the fluffy antics of the Easter Bunny, Aussies have embraced another furry friend for the season – the charming bilby – for good reason.

Sadly, rabbits wreak havoc on Australia’s delicate ecosystems. With their voracious appetites and rapid breeding habits, they pose a serious threat to the native flora and fauna. And unfortunately, the bilbies have felt the brunt of this invasion, with their habitats taken over and their numbers dwindling due to the increased predation. 

So, in 1991, Rabbit-Free Australia, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the country’s native ecosystems, launched a groundbreaking campaign. Their mission was to replace the invasive rabbit with the endearing bilby as the new icon of Easter.

Chocolate Bunny or Bilby?

Fortunately, the idea has been widely accepted. Candy makers across the country have embraced the Easter Bilby by making chocolate and candy versions of the marsupial. Also, a portion of the proceeds from these sweet treats goes towards supporting conservation organizations like Save The Bilby Fund. They want to ensure that these endearing animals have a fighting chance of survival. 

chocolate bunnies

Wesołego Alleluja from Poland

Another totally unique Easter celebration takes place in Poland. On Easter Monday, also known as Wet Monday, young boys armed with buckets and water balloons are ready to drench the girls in a playful game of water warfare. It’s a tradition that’s been going strong for generations.

Then, the following day, it’s the girls’ chance to seek revenge. It’s a fun-filled battle of the sexes that leaves everyone soaked. Supposedly, the amount of water a girl receives on Wet Monday could predict her marital fate, with the most soaked girl destined to tie the knot within the year. True or not, Wet Monday is an Easter tradition like no other.

Blessings From Us

As we conclude our journey through some diverse coastal Easter traditions around the world, it is clear that this holiday is about much more than chocolate bunnies and colorful eggs. Whether it is the kite festivals on the sunny shores of Bermuda, or a witch walk in Sweden, each coastal community adds its own unique customs and cultural significance. 

One thing remains constant all over the world. Easter is a time for renewal, reflection, and celebration, which bind us together during this joyous time of year. We wish you a blessed Easter celebration with your family and friends.

Chocolate Bunnies Rule

 These sentences are in active voice. Chocolate bunnies are adorable. These chocolate bunnies are delicious.

Chocolate Bunnies Rock

Also, chocolate bunnies make a great Easter basket item.

Chocolate Bunnies Unite

Children love to receive chocolate bunnies. They are active words. They are good sentences.

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2 Responses

  1. What an interesting article on Easter traditions! I loved reading about the yearly Easter tradition in Bessières, France. What a large omelette!!! Not everything is bigger in Texas!!!

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