Worldwide Easter Celebrations and Traditions | SITU’s Guide to Travelling Throughout the Easter Holiday

Easter Bonnet Festival
Easter Bonnet Festival. Courtesy of ny.curbed.com

Easter is that time in Christianity’s calendar when the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are remembered worldwide. It is not just Christians who celebrate Easter though, with communities all over the world celebrating the Holy week, weekend or day in many different ways.

With Easter fast approaching, SITU takes a look into some of the best seasonal traditions spread across some of the best locations, complimented by our range of global serviced accommodation.

Spain

Statue of Jesus in Spanish parade

In Spain, the ‘Semana Santa’ is the celebratory Holy Week in the build-up to Easter Sunday. Across the country, elaborate displays and colourful parades light up major cities and small rural towns with festivity and colour. The celebration of ‘Semana Santa’ across the week is believed to have originated in the twelfth century, growing in popularity to what it is today. Tributes to the passion of Jesus Christ are extravagant, typically in the form of a float carrying huge statues and passing through streets full of colour, music and joyous people.

It is across Andulacia and the Castilla-León region that the celebrations are supposedly most passionate. Whilst in the Castillian cities, such as Valladolid, Zamora and Salamanca, visitors can expect the parades to go on longer and feature more events, those joining the festivities in Andulacian cities, such as Seville and Malaga, can assume they are going to witness some of Spain’s more lively, captivating processions and floats.

Sants Apartments
Sants Apartments, Barcelona.

For many visiting Spain though, choosing a serviced apartment to stay in involves making sure it meets the expectation of allowing a visit to be more than just about the Easter celebrations. Both corporates and leisurely travellers can be sure of this when staying in SITU’s serviced accommodation.

Celebrations are just as vibrant in Madrid or Barcelona, where the Sants Apartments and Calle Del Principe Apartments are based. Both provide a fantastic range of room sizes in the heart of Spain’s major cities and have all the facilities necessary to help any guest have a fulfilled trip. Most importantly, they are in great locations. Travel across Spain for whichever places guests fancy visiting for the Easter celebrations is easy.

Italy

St Peter's Basilica - Easter
Easter at Vatican City. Courtesy of Tripsavvy.com.

Like Spain, the Easter holiday is one of the biggest in the Italian calendar. Pasqua, as it is called in Italy is a joyous, important celebration marked with many particular traditions and rituals. Easter ‘Mass’ is held in every Italian church over the Easter weekend, but by far the biggest and most attended is the ceremony conducted by the Pope at Saint Peter’s Basilica in the beautiful Vatican City, surrounded by Rome and representative of the Roman Catholic Church ‘headquarters’. The event is greatly acknowledged worldwide as one of the great Christian ceremonies. Around 80,000 people can fill St Peter’s Square. Other great processions in Rome include the ‘Stations of the Cross’ and those held in the iconic Roman Colosseum.

Instead though, travellers could enjoy slightly more subtle celebrations in the likes of Venice or Florence. Whilst the passion of the people and their celebrations are similar, the scale is typically less. Staying in these cities could, therefore, make for a more relaxing trip to Italy. Worth watching though is the amazing Easter ‘Esplosione del Carro’, meaning the ‘Explosion of the Cart’ in Florence. The tradition dates back 300 years, where thousands come to watch the explosion of the nine-metre tall ‘Brindellone’.

Angelo Emo Apartments
Angelo Emo Apartments, Rome.

SITU have so many great serviced accommodation options in Italy, including the Angelo Emo Apartments in the west of Rome. They are also just on the edge of the Vatican City, and therefore near the best Easter processions in Italy. These stylish apartments can house between four and six guests, and provide fully-equipped kitchens, a laundry service and decor of exceptionally high quality. What’s more is the Cipro underground station is only a few minutes’ walk away too, making easy travel across Rome achievable.

Israel

Holy Church of Sepulchre
The Holy Church of Sepulchre. Courtesy of www.itraveljerusalem.com.

It may not be one of the most popular countries to visit all year round, but Israel is certainly amongst the most recommended for Easter travel. After all, the country is where the story of Christianity began and is home to two of religion’s most significant and recognised cities; Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Orthodox and Catholic Christians particularly focus their attention on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the heart of Jerusalem. This involves the lighting of the Tomb of Christ, leading to a Holy Fire spectated by a faithful crowd. The first mention of the event dates back to the fourth century. Still to this day though it has great significance amongst the religion’s people and Israeli locals.

This event is accompanied by several parades and celebratory pilgrimages, therefore making the capital a busy place around this time of year. Alternative Israeli cities worth visiting, which are perhaps slightly less chaotic, include Bethlehem and Tel-Aviv. Throughout the Easter Holy Week, parades, services and concerts flood the city streets. Ultimately, the passion of the people involved is indescribable. Tourists visiting these cities, and even the smaller towns, will witness an Easter spectacle different to anywhere else.

Florentine Apartment
Florentine Apartment, Tel-Aviv.

Embracing these celebrations and the Israeli festivity could not be easier when staying in the Florentine Apartment in Tel Aviv. This two bedroom apartment in the heart of the coastal town is spacious and full of character. It also includes practical features such as a breakfast bar, a handy kitchenette and in-apartment laundry facilities. The most attractive aspect of this apartment though is the sizeable balcony. It provides guests with fabulous views of the surrounding area.

Other Easter Traditions

Giant Easter Omelette in France
The French Easter tradition of cooking a giant omelette. Courtesy of time.com.

Spain, Italy and Israel host some of the most fervent Easter celebrations to take place worldwide, yet, this does not mean other global traditions are necessarily worth missing. Travellers may wish to witness the cooking of the giant omelette in the French towns of Haux or Bessieres. Brotherhoods and locals in the surrounding regions all collectively offer up some eggs (15,000 altogether in Bessieres, 2017). Local chefs then cook them into a giant Easter omelette.

Travellers may wish to watch the ‘Jug Destruction’ tradition which takes in Corfu, Greece. With no intentions of harming anyone, jugs are thrown onto the streets. Supposedly the hope is that the following year will bring better replacements. Or, if you are a fan of murder mysteries and crime shows, why not visit Norway? As well as all the regular Easter traditions, Norway takes the opportunity to feature crime stories in magazines, on major television channels and even on the sides of milk cartons. It is an odd way to recognise the Easter holiday, but not quite as strange as children dressing up as witches and flocking to the streets in Finland and Denmark!

Easter celebrations are so diverse across the globe, meaning anyone can appreciate the holiday how they wish. SITU has fantastic serviced accommodation options across all the countries mentioned in this blog, enabling comfortable stays wherever guests wish to spend the Easter holidays.

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