It’s Easter morning and your kids run down the stairs to see what the Easter bunny left in their baskets. Chocolate bunnies, marshmallow Peeps, jelly beans, jump ropes…they’re usual staples of baskets here in the U.S.
The tradition of the Easter basket dates back to the Anglo-Saxon goddess of fertility who was seen carrying a woven basket. Fast forward a few thousand years and we’re still doing the basket thing. The basket tradition is also marked some other countries around the world. But, in some places, you won’t find a chocolate bunny as the centerpiece. You may not even find a basket! You may be surprised at the other Easter traditions that are around.
Eastern Europe– In places like Croatia and Russia you’ll find things like lamb-shaped butter, bread, horseradish, sausage, ham, cheese, and bacon in an Easter basket. You’ll also find a candle that is placed in the middle to be lit as the family enjoys all the food inside the basket.
Italy– Kids in Italy don’t usually get baskets from the Easter bunny. That’s because the bunny really isn’t involved in the holiday. It probably has something to do with the fact that rabbits are often eaten in Italy! So, instead of a basket, Italian children often get big chocolate Easter eggs with a surprise inside.
France– Here’s another place the Easter bunny doesn’t hop to in order to bring baskets. Instead, France focuses on church bells. The Thursday before Easter, the church bells stop ringing until Easter morning. The bells apparently get special wings and fly to Rome where they visit the Vatican. During their visit, they round up a bunch of different chocolate to bring back to France and give to the kids.
Spain-Add Spain to the list of countries that does not have a visit from the Easter bunny. So, no baskets, no peeps, no chocolates. Instead, there are many religious parades and walks to mark the Easter holiday.
Germany– In Germany, kids can expect to get baskets similar to what we see here in the United States. They are also brought by the Easter bunny. Chocolate eggs, bunnies and other sweets along with hard-boiled colored eggs fill baskets in Germany.
England– The Easter bunny hops along in England as well, bringing baskets of chocolates to good boys and girls. With all that yummy Cadbury chocolate lying around it’s no wonder baskets in England are pretty full!
So, if you’re looking for baskets filled with goodies, toys, and other traditional fillers, you don’t have to travel far. We have plenty here in the U.S. While other countries may not win awards for their baskets, they have other Easter traditions that are worth checking out.