Happy Easter! What do people worldwide eat for easter?

Easter egg

Artisanal Easter eggs made in Slovenia


Danish – Paaske
Dutch – Pasen
German – Ostern
German (Lower Rhine) – Paisken
Greek – Pasxa
Irish – Cáisc
Italian – Pasqua
Latin – Pascha or Festa Paschalia
Portuguese – Páscoa
Romanian – Pasti
Scots – Pask
Spanish – Pascua
Swedish – Påsk

The English word Easter, though it has come to designate a Christian holiday, actually takes its name from the pagan festival of Eostre, goddess of spring, and has roots deep in Anglo-Saxon mythology. Easter is also timed to coincide with the Jewish feast of Passover. It comes like a breath of spring, marking the return of the planting and lambing seasons.

For the Christian world, Easter is the commemoration of Jesus’s resurrection, observed on the first Sunday after the full moon following the spring equinox, which can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25. But for those who love food, it is also a holiday associated with chocolate, painted eggs and big family meals. Early on Easter morning children get up and search the house for eggs and other treats left by the Easter bunny… the eggs and the rabbit itself are ancient symbols of fertility and springtime rebirth.

In Alsace
Easter means the arrival of asparagus, morels and crayfish. It brings suckling lamb and new vegetables… Emile Jung shares some thoughts for Easter and for spring in the kitchen. On the menu: Baeckeofe and hop sprouts.

In Austria
When bunnies lay eggs at Easter… This isn’t the opening line of a fairy tale, but rather a charming tradition that delights all Austrian children on Easter morning.

In Bayonne
Plan to attend the ham fair, a food lover’s delight from Holy Thursday to the Eve of Easter.

In Corsica
At Easter you won’t find lamb here, much less ham, but rather tender roast kid.

In Finland
The most famous dessert is mämmi, a recipe that dates back to the Middle Ages, when it was prepared in a bark container.

In Germany
Though Easter eggs are most often brought by the Easter bunny, he is sometimes replaced by the hare. But in Tyrol you’ll find a chicken and in the Hanover region a cuckoo… a rooster in Bavaria, and fox in Thuringia and Westphalia.

In Great Britain
Aside from eggs and chocolate bunnies, the best-known English Easter food is probably the hot cross bun.

In Greece
A braided bread called tsoureki, decorated with red eggs, is served when the clock strikes midnight to announce Christ’s resurrection.

In Italy
Neapolitans resurrect their love for sweets with Pastiera, a pie filled with ricotta and candied fruit, while the Milanese serve bread in the shape of a dove.

In Russia
Easter is by far the most important feast in the Russian Orthodox Church. Many of the symbols of this celebration are already familiar, like the gorgeous folk-art Easter eggs, kulich and pashka.

In Sweden
On Holy Thursday, the famous “Easter witches” arrive…

America & Caribbean

For America, it’s not the hard-boiled eggs or chocolate bunnies that make the family look forward to Easter with eager anticipation – it’s the ham.

In Mexico
For most Mexicans, fish and shellfish are consumed in large quantities.

3 Responses to “Happy Easter! What do people worldwide eat for easter?”
  1. stuckhereinthedorms says:

    It’s cool learning about all the different food traditions all around the world. While quite creative for most other days, my family gets into such a rut of what we eat for the holidays. I think that this year I will try to introduce a little taste of the world to our menu. Thanks 🙂

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