Easter around the world: Who delivers the eggs?!
Here in the UK, Easter has long been celebrated by families up and down the country. As the shops fill up with Easter eggs the size of the average three-year-old, we are transported back to our childhood, with images of the Easter Bunny bearing chocolatey gifts flooding the minds of every chocoholic in the land. But if you’re on holiday in a different country on Easter Sunday, you may find your children asking “who’ll bring us the eggs?!”
To put their minds at ease, and tell you who’ll be delivering the eggs in various countries this year, we’ve teamed up with the experts at language learning app Babbel, to share a list of various egg distributors from around the world! From Australia’s Easter Bilby, to Sweden’s Easter Witches, here is Babbel’s list of international egg-cellent Easter characters.
In addition to the Easter Bunny, who will hide eggs around the house for the children of Sweden, an old tradition here is the so-called Easter Witch (“Påskkärring”). Swedish children dress up as witches or old ladies and go from house to house with pictures they’ve drawn in hopes of receiving some sweets in exchange for their hard work. The Easter Witch is also a tradition in Finland.
In France, there is a lovely Easter story told to children. Since no church bells ring in France from Good Friday to Easter Sunday, legend has it that all the bells fly to Rome on Good Friday. There they are blessed, and return on Easter Sunday loaded with chocolate eggs and other sweets. On their way back, they drop the treats over the cities and villages in France for the children to find.
In Australia, where rabbits are considered pests, the Bilby (a small marsupial resembling a rabbit) has usurped the Easter Bunny – down under, the “Easter Bilby” is the one who takes care of the handing out the Easter gifts. This species is endangered in its native country, and so the Bilby was introduced in place of the Bunny to increase awareness of them.
It is said that the Easter Bunny entered America in the 1700s, along with German immigrants who settled there. The Germans brought with them the tradition of a hare that laid coloured eggs, called Osterhase, which their children would make nests for. This evolved into the Easter Bunny that we all know and love, whose gifts now include sweet treats and chocolate. Children may also leave carrots for the bunny, in the same way that they do for Santa’s reindeers at Christmas.
Easter is celebrated in a big way in Norway, and is more important to many Norwegians than Christmas. Norwegians decorate their home with Easter chickens (“Påskekyllinger”), as well as eating chocolate Easter eggs (“Påskeegg”), as chickens are a symbol of fertility. The Easter Bunny does deliver treats here, but is a relatively new addition to Easter in Norway, having only brought chocolate and candy here in recent years!