The world's 10 craziest Easter traditions

From the world's biggest omelette in France to chocolate bilbies in Australia, here are the most eggs-traordinary ways to celebrate this Easter...

4 mins

1. The Easter Bilby from Australia

The Easter Bilby, part of an Aussie Easter tradition (Shutterstock)

The Easter Bilby, part of an Aussie Easter tradition (Shutterstock)

In an attempt to raise awareness about the dwindling bilby population, confectioners in Australia have taken to making chocolate likenesses of this small rabbit-size marsupial.

Aussies can scoff at will, knowing that every bite they take is helping to save an endangered species.

2. The world's biggest Easter omelette in France

A giant omelette (Shutterstock)

A giant omelette (Shutterstock)

On Easter Monday, the residents of Haux usually crack more than 4,500 eggs into a gigantic pan to create a massive Easter omelette that serves over 1,000 people.

Each family breaks the eggs in their homes in the morning and they gather in the main square where the eggs are cooked for lunch. And dinner. And breakfast the next morning...

3. A time to splash out, Hungary

A woman getting soaked in Hungary (Shutterstock)

A woman getting soaked in Hungary (Shutterstock)

In Hungary, women dress up in traditional clothes on Easter Sunday and get splashed with water, or sometimes even have a bucket of water chucked over them.

In historic times, the water was considered a way to keep healthy and fertile. Now, it's just a fun tradition.

Uncomfortable, yes. But it certainly beats getting the Czech's Easter tradition (keep reading to find out).

4. The witches of Easter-wick in Finland

Kids in Finland dressed as witches (Shutterstock)

Kids in Finland dressed as witches (Shutterstock)

Halloween comes early to Finland as children dress up as witches and wander the streets with broomsticks on a hunt for treats.

The tradition is said to have come from the belief that witches would fly to Germany and cavort with Satan. Bonfires are meant to scare them away.

5. Tobacco trees in Papua New Guinea

A church in Palembe, Papua New Guinea (Shutterstock)

A church in Palembe, Papua New Guinea (Shutterstock)

Chocolate isn't much use in the steamy jungles of Papua New Guinea, so Easter trees are part of their celebrations instead.

But instead of sweet treats or colourful decorations, people dress up their trees with tobacco and cigarettes, and use them as places of worship leading up to Easter. 

In churches, small trees are decorated with sticks of tobacco and cigarettes too. These are handed out after the Easter service.

6. Crucifixion and flagellation in the Philippines

Crucifixion in the Philippines (Shutterstock)

Crucifixion in the Philippines (Shutterstock)

In the Philippines some devout Catholics have taken to the practice of self-crucifixion and self-flagellation on Easter. Their thinking is that it helps purify them and cleanse them of the sins of the world.

The Roman Catholic Church is not keen on the idea and has been actively trying to discourage this practice, without much success.

7. The Easter Bunny sees red in Greece

Red Easter eggs (Shutterstock)

Red Easter eggs (Shutterstock)

Easter is known around the world for multi-coloured, decorated eggs. But in Greece you will find only red eggs.

Red is the colour of life, you see, as well as a representation of the blood of Christ.

From ancient times, the egg has been a symbol of the renewal of life, and the message of the red eggs is victory over death. Got it?

8. Criminal intent in Norway

A cabin in Alesund, Norway  (Shutterstock)

A cabin in Alesund, Norway (Shutterstock)

Easter time is crime time in Norway. Television channels run crime shows and a slew of new detective novels are commissioned to come out just before Easter.

People across the country escape into their mountain cabins and spend the weekend with the ‘whodunnit’ television shows or books.

Even the milk cartons carry short detective stories on their side during the season. The phenomenon was triggered by the immense popularity of a crime novel in 1923, set on the Bergen railway.

9. The Great Easter Bunny Hunt in New Zealand

This bunny better watch out (Shutterstock)

This bunny better watch out (Shutterstock)

While the rest of the world hunts for Easter eggs hidden around the house, the good folk of Otago grab their guns for the annual ‘Great Easter Bunny Hunt’.

The idea is to rid farmlands of ‘invasive pests’, with over 500 hunters vying for the coveted trophy and the $NZ 3,500 prize money.

With over 10,000 rabbits meeting their maker each year, the Easter Bunny sensibly gives this corner of New Zealand a miss.

10. Whip-cracking in the Czech Republic and Slovakia

An Easter display in Zagreb, Croatia... sans whipping (Dreamstime)

An Easter display in Zagreb, Croatia... sans whipping (Dreamstime)

If you're a woman and you find yourself in the Czech Republic or Slovakia on Easter Monday, it is perhaps best to stay indoors.

Local men and boys roam the streets with gaily decorated willow switches, usually adorned with ribbons, looking for girls to 'lightly' whip.

The whipping is not intended to be painful, but instead is meant to encourage good health and beauty. You may feel otherwise and the tradition is seen as quite controversial now.

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