Unique Easter Rituals

      Where in the world is Easter a cause for physical aggression?  In Brazil, where there's a tradition of "beating up" Judas, the apostle known for betraying Christ.  People make straw men representing Judas, hang them on the streets, and then destroy them.  Many times politicians involved in scandals become Judas.  But there's plenty of happy celebrating in Brazil as well.  Easter Saturday is called "Sabado de Aleluia" and in many small towns there's a small version of Carnaval on that day to celebrate the end of Lent.

Surprisingly, Easter in Sweden sounds a lot like Halloween.  Children dress up as witches with a broom, kettle, long old-fashioned skirt, scarf tied under the chin, two big circles of blush on the cheeks, and drawn on freckles!  They want sweets and occasionally they go around to local houses and ask for them.

In the Philippines, Easter involved little girls dressed as angels and a procession that usually starts very early in the morning, before dawn.  The men make up one procession, led by an image of the resurrected Christ, and the women form another, following a black-veiled Virgin Mary.  When the two groups finally meet at the church, it symbolizes Christ meeting and consoling his mother after his resurrection.  This is when the little angels remove Mary's lambong (veil of mourning) and the procession changes into one of light and festivity.  This tradition is call the Easter "salubong" (encounter or meeting).

Jo-Anne Larre

Jo-Anne Larre

CENTURY 21 Fusion
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