Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter Around the World Germany, Hungary, Norway and Poland

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?

Today we explore Easter in parts of Northern Europe. We will explore Germany, Hungary, Norway and Poland. The other day we explored Sweden and we have also explored France, Spain and Portugal.

Easter Fire
Easter Fire in  Göttingen Source: By ElHeineken (Own work)
[GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

In Germany Good Friday is known as Quiet Friday. The church bells are not rung on Quiet Friday. People make wooden rattles to call people to church. On Saturday the children light huge bonfires. They burn wood and rubbish that they collect from house to house. On Easter, many villages hold an Easter walk or ride in memory of the walk Jesus took with His disciples after His resurrection. In one procession there is a rider dressed as Saint George on a white horse and in another men on horseback gallop past a post shaped like a cross and the winner is presented a cake shaped like a horse. On Easter Sunday, the children look for eggs in the garden. The eggs are made of chocolate, candy or decorated hens' eggs. Some believe the Easter hare hid the eggs for the children. The Easter hare brings the eggs in a small wheel barrow. 

Hase mit Ostereiern (1)
Easter Hare with Eggs Source: By Gerbil (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Sprinkling in Hungary Source: By Opusztaszer (Own work)
[CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
In Hungary, Easter is a two day holiday. Its observance is part Christian and part folk. The main difference is the ritual of sprinkling.On Easter Monday boys and young men visit their female relatives and neighbors and friends. In the past boys would playfully drag the girls to the well and pour water on them using pails or take the girls to the river and drench them. Now the boys sprinkle cologne rather than water so the girls do not have to change after every sprinkling. The girls no longer wear the traditional folk clothes but wear their casual clothes. There is a competition among the girls to see who gets sprinkled the most. In the evening the celebrations come to an end with a traditional Easter feast of baked ham and boiled eggs.

Norwegian Eggs Source: By: Pål Berge
In Norway outdoor sunrise services are common on Easter morning. Children will often gather big bouquets of flowers to decorate the houses. It is spring and daffodils and tulips are often in bloom. The children also have painted egg contests and egg rolling contests. In egg rolling they either blow the egg or push it with their nose. Similar to children in Russia, Norwegian children play egg tapping. They tap their eggs together and see whose can survive the longest uncracked. It is also a tradition in Norway to leave a special brew outside the house on Maundy Thursday. This is to keep the witches away, which people in remote areas used to believe in similar to the Swedish traditions. One unique tradition in Norway is at Easter time Norwegians read detective novels and watch detective shows on television. This tradition has become known as Easter Crime.

Drowning Marzanna in Poland includes Burning Them First
Photo taken by Meteor2017 Source

In Poland on the fourth Sunday of Lent people dress in traditional costume and gather on the riverbanks. They bring stuffed dolls that are called Marzannas. Some will be made of straw and others rag dolls. The dolls are dressed in traditional clothes. They form circles and sing songs about winter ending and warm weather coming. They throw the dolls into the river to symbolize the death of winter. In some parts they burn the dolls first as pictured above. In some parts of Poland people feel it is unlucky to speak or look back and rush home. They also have the belief that a trip or fall on the way home may mean they will die within the year. Nowadays it is a more lighthearted event and often is celebrated as part of school.
Palm Sunday in Poland
Palm Sunday in Poland Source: I, Mathiasrex [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons
Holy Week begins and it is called Wielki Tydzien. For Palm Sunday, people carry pussy willows or decorated branches like the ones above to church. In some churches they are thrown on the floor for the priest to walk over. On Good Friday the churches display a model of the tomb where Christ was buried. People go from church to church to admire the artistry. On Saturday they bring a basket of food to the church to be blessed. The baskets hold pisanki or painted eggs, a lamb made of sugar or straw, bread, sausages and cakes.

Veľkonočný košík
A Blessing Basket Source: By J.Dncsn (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
On Easter Sunday the boys run through the streets setting off explosives. The noise resembles the noise of the stone rolling away from the tomb. Since Easter morning ends the Lenten fasting, people enjoy a breakfast of eggs, meats and cakes after church. On Easter Monday or Dyngus, the boys practicing sprinkling similar to Hungary. The girls however sometimes give the boys a dyngus or ransom for the promise not to be thrown in the water. The ransom is Easter eggs or candies. People who get wet in this way are suppose to have good luck and a good harvest and it also means the boy likes her.


For this post, I used information from the books above. For more Multicultural and Easter Posts check out:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Easter Around the World - Ethiopia

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?

Today we explore Easter in Ethiopia. Easter is called Fasika or Fasika-Tenssaie. Tenssaie is the word for Resurrection. In Ethiopia, fasting for Lent is 55 days to recognize the suffering of Moses as well as Jesus. Lent is called Hudade and nobody eats meat or any dairy products during this time. Three hour masses are attended every day during Lent.

Injera (during Easter Time, Lalibela, Ethiopia)
Typical Lenten Meal Source: By Maurice Chédel (Own work) [GFDL
or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Palm Sunday is called Hosanna. As in many Christian countries, the mood lightens for Palm Sunday. People carry tall palm leaves and crosses  to remember Jesus' journey into Jerusalem. Holy Week is called Passion Week or Semune himamat. In Ethiopia, they do not eat for the three days from Good Friday to Easter morning. They have a long night mass on Saturday night ending at dawn on Easter. The Easter feast often lasts for two days or more and can include mutton. People bring gifts to family and friends during Easter. Often people will play a game called gebet'a which is a bit similar to checkers or chess. It has a board that is carved from wood with cups cut into it. The players use pieces usually seeds, stones, or beans and move from cup to cup trying to capture the other player's pieces. Doing a search it looks like it is also called or similar to mancala. For more information on gebet'a visit Ethiopia the African Tibetan Show: Gebet'a World's Oldest Board Game.

Detail - Ethiopian Crosses at the Monastery of Na’akuto La’ab (3415428694)
Ethiopian Priest Holds Ethiopian Cross Source: By A. Davey from Where I Live Now: 
Pacific Northwest [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

One of the things I found so interesting about Ethiopia is not actually an Easter celebration, but relates to Easter. Ethiopians have a festival/holiday called Maskel. Maskel celebrates when Helena, empress of Rome found the cross on which Jesus was crucified. Helena was born in A.D. 248 and spent many years searching for the true cross. An old man gave her the advice of lighting a fire and following the direction of the smoke. This is how she found the true cross. Every year in Ethiopia huge piles of wood and twigs are built for Maskel. Every village has its own pile and each family adds their own bundle of twigs called a chebo. They are lit to be a bonfire which grows huge. The bonfire is called Maskel Demera. Some families prefer to keep their chebos at home and burn them on their own on Maskel. There is a ceremony before an elder of the community lights the bonfire. It is an honor to be picked as the respected elder to light it. People stand around the fire and sing to welcome spring. Some take ash from the fire and draw a cross on their foreheads. They believe the ash will heal illness. The festivities end with feasting and dancing.

For this post, I used information from the books above. For more Multicultural and Easter Posts check out:

Virtual Book Club for Kids: In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?

Today we are going to share our April book for Virtual Book Club for Kids. This month's author is Denise Fleming. We had not read many Denise Fleming books previously, but found them to be fun. Her books have few words but beautiful pictures. She has a wonderful website full of activities to go with her books. 

For those that do not know what the Virtual Book Club for Kids is, we are a group of bloggers who host a blog hop every month based on one author. The blogs who host this are 

Toddler Approved- The Educators' Spin On It- Rainy Day Mum3 Dinosaurs- Learn~Play~Imagine - Crafty Moms Share - Reading Confetti- Inspiration Laboratories - Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas - Kids Yoga Stories - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom- Ready-Set-Read - Boy Mama Teacher Mama - PlayDrMom - Fantastic Fun and Learning - Growing Book by Book- Royal Baloo - The Outlaw Mom® Blog - Kitchen Counter Chronicles - Teach Preschool - Mama Smiles - Coffe Cups and Crayons - Juggling With KidsHere Come the Girls-

 Make sure you stop by and check out what each of us has done. 

This month we decided to feature In the Tall, Tall Grass. This book has rhyming words describing different creatures you find in tall grass. Since Hazel is going through a stage of loving rhyming words, I thought it would be fun to have a rhyming match game. (Click link to download your own copy.)

To play, you can make cards by cutting out each card and gluing to construction paper or other paper. Flip them over an play a regular match game except match words that rhyme. The pictures on the cards match the animals in the book and then at the end there are cards I made just to have rhyming words with the ones that did not have a pair.  Enjoy!!

We have also been exploring some of the animals in the book. We have been reading other books on birds including hummingbirds and on ladybugs. We also are watching the life cycle of ladybugs with our ladybug larvae. So far we have watched the larvae grow from almost miniscule size (day 1 picture is through magnifying glass as is the last picture of day 18) to much bigger. We are waiting for them to go into their pupa stage and then of course become ladybugs! 

So that is what we have done with one of Denise Fleming's book. Have you read any of her books and done an activity or craft to go with it? Feel free to share here as well.