Easter celebrations around the world

Easter's not all about scoffing chocolate eggs - here are some of the ways people celebrate the annual festival around the world.
Members of the Candelaria brotherhood during Santa Semama, in Seville. Photo / iStock
Members of the Candelaria brotherhood during Santa Semama, in Seville. Photo / iStock

Seville, Spain

Easter processions happen throughout Spain, but in Seville they take it to the next level. The Semana Santa (Holy Week) festival involves lavish floats decorated with candles and religious trinkets, parading through the streets accompanied by marching bands.

Thousands of local worshippers and tourists turn out to see the spectacular sights. What's most surprising to tourists, particularly those from the United States, is the people dressed in distinctive penitential robes with pointed hoods - which look a bit like the robes of the KKK. However, the hoods, known as capirotes, were designed so the faithful could repent in anonymity.

The Philippines

An Filipino Easter Sunday celebration, involving a re-enactment of Virgin Mary meeting her son Jesus. Photo / iStock
An Filipino Easter Sunday celebration, involving a re-enactment of Virgin Mary meeting her son Jesus. Photo / iStock

During Easter week, many Filipino Catholics perform religious penance and take part in rituals on Maundy Thursday, where barefoot penitents walk through the street whipping themselves. In San Fernando, north of Manila, visitors line the streets to watch the bloody ritual, where men dressed as Jesus Christ are "nailed" to wooden crosses. However, the Catholic Church does not approve of the practice.

Sardinia

A Holy Week procession in Iglesias, Sardinia. Photo / iStock
A Holy Week procession in Iglesias, Sardinia. Photo / iStock

In Alghero, Holy Week is celebrated in accordance with an ancient tradition dating back to 1501. Celebrations open with the silent procession of Sorrowful Mysteries on Good Friday, where a statue of Jesus on the cross is carried through the streets and into the main church. He is ritually taken down from the cross and laid in a coffin, before being paraded again through the streets on Easter Sunday, to be reunited with statue of the Madonna.

Fredericksburg, Texas

A traditional Easter lamb cake. Photo / iStock
A traditional Easter lamb cake. Photo / iStock

In Fredericksburg, a small town with a German heritage, Easter is lit up by bonfires, which residents build the night before Easter Sunday. The fires commemorate an 1847 peace treaty with the Comanche Indians, but children are often told the fires are made by the Easter bunny who uses them to boil water to dye eggs. It's a tradition that is also seen around Northern Europe. Many families in Texas also serve up a special cake shaped like a lamb as part of the celebrations.

The Vatican, Italy

Crowds gather outside St. Peter's Basillica in Rome to hear the Pope speak on Easter Sunday. Photo / iStock
Crowds gather outside St. Peter's Basillica in Rome to hear the Pope speak on Easter Sunday. Photo / iStock

The home of the Catholic Church predictably puts on an impressive display every Easter. On Good Friday, the faithful crowd St Peter's Square for medieval performances, a Nativity scene and a reenactment of the life of Christ. Those who are lucky enough to get tickets - which are free, but very limited - can take in Easter Sunday mass conducted by the Pope. Two days before Good Friday, he also performs a Stations of the Cross procession at the Colosseum.

- nzherald.co.nz

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 02 Oct 2016 10:29:08 Processing Time: 1767ms