I hope everybody is having a wonderful Easter morning when you read this. It will be Sunday, and many people will be gathering with family to celebrate the Easter holiday. My family will gather at my mom's after church, where we will make a delicious meal and let the small people hunt Easter eggs.
It is a holiday that I feel here in America is great for families and gives a reason to see all the people you may not get to as often as you would like. One thing you realize when you travel the world is how many different cultures share the same holidays.
Easter is celebrated nearly around the world in one fashion or another. I traveled mostly through predominantly Muslim countries. However, even in places like Iraq, Christians and some Muslims will gather and celebrate Easter. In the week leading up to Easter they will prepare deserts and food for the feast of “Alklejeh.”
Many farmers will plant olive branches on their land and pray for a good harvest. Traditionally the women will dye eggs, although as far as I could tell, even in more Christian areas they did not hide the eggs for the children to find.
I never got to visit many of the European countries, but they have some really interesting Easter traditions I would have love to try. There is a fabulous tradition in Poland for example on the Monday after Easter.
They will dump water on each other either out of buckets or just with water guns. According to the story, Polish girls who get soaked on water Monday will marry sometime the next year.
In Florence, Italy, they load up a big cart with fireworks. They then roll the cart through the city wearing traditional 15th-century clothing. They then park it outside the Duomo where the Archbishop of Florence then lights the fuse.
I think Easter fireworks displays should be adopted here as well. In Haux,France, they make a giant omelet for Easter. Apparently when Napoleon was going through this town, they made him an omelet.
He was so impressed with how good it was that he ordered them to make one for all of his soldiers. Now they take 15,000 eggs and make a giant omelet, which feeds more than 1,000 people every year.
Norway also has an interesting tradition. A book publisher in 1923 took out ads to promote their new crime novel over the Easter weekend. People didn’t realize it was just advertising, and it garnered a lot of attention.
This led to an Easter tradition of reading novels and skiing. You can’t talk about Easter traditions without bringing up the White House yearly Easter egg roll. For over 130 years, the White House has invited people to the south lawn to roll Easter eggs with a wooden spoon.
Hopefully, whatever your traditions are, you have a happy and wonderful Easter.
David Koen is an Amarillo native who owns Doche Cleaners and is an active member of the Dry Cleaning and Laundry Institute. Learn more at dochecleanersamarillo.com