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Eight ways Easter is celebrated around the world

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This Easter weekend, you may be heading out to spend time with friends and family or enjoying some of the local traditions and festivities at home. 
 
However, it’s unlikely you’ll be taking part in a country-wide water fight, throwing pottery out your window or firing rockets at a nearby church. But these are just some of the ways Easter is celebrated around the world. 
 
Let’s take a closer look.
 

Cúllar Vega, Granada, Spain

 
Just west of Granada, the people of Cúllar Vega celebrate Easter by throwing firecrackers called Tro de Bac while carrying a statue of Christ as a child through the town. 
 
Around 150 townsmen and women light 10,000 firecrackers on Easter Sunday to mark the resurrection of Jesus, bringing an end to Holy Week. 
 

New York City, USA

 
The annual Easter parade along Fifth Avenue dates back to the 1870s and attracts thousands of people each year.
 
From the 1880s all the way through to the 1950s, the parade was one of the largest cultural expressions in North America. It celebrated the holiday, fashion and the country’s religious observance at the time. 
 
Since then, the New York City Easter parade has become less focused on religion and more towards American prosperity. People from all over the world travel to see its spectacle. 
 

Florence, Italy


It seems Granada is not the only place to incorporate explosives into its Easter celebrations. 
 
In Florence, locals mark a more than 300-year-old tradition known as Scoppio del Carro, or explosion of the cart. 
 
After being dragged through the streets of Florence by colourfully dressed locals, an ornate cart packed with fireworks is set alight by the city’s archbishop, literally sparking the beginning of a lively display. 
 
It’s said the tradition dates back to the 11thcentury and is meant to ensure a good harvest. 
 

Verges, Catalonia

 
In Verges, a principality north east of Girona, Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday, signifies the Dansa de la Mort or dance of death. 
 
The people of Verges dress in luminescent skeleton costumes and perform dances carrying clocks, scythes and ashes. It’s part of an afternoon-long representation of the life and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. 
 

Chios, Greece

 
On the fifth largest island of Greece, Chios, things are rather less amicable. 
 
The night before Easter Sunday, Rouketopolemos takes place. It involves two rival churches, Saint Mark’s and Virgin Mary Erethiani Church, firing homemade rockets at one another. 
 
The purpose of the event is to see how many hits you can land on the opposing church or until its bell is hit and rung. As many as 60,000 rockets fill the sky. 
 
It’s said the tradition started during the island’s occupation by the Ottomans in the 1800s. Having outlawed cannons, it left the locals with only homemade rockets to use in defiance of the invaders. 
 

Poland

 
In Poland, after the Easter Sunday celebrations have ended, Śmigus-dynguscomes next. 
 
This Easter Monday event sees boys trying to drench others with buckets of water, squirt guns or anything else they can lay their hands on. 
 
It’s said that girls who get soaked will marry within the year, and the tradition comes from the baptism of Polish Prince Mieszko on Easter Monday in 966 AD.
 

Haux, France

 
Slightly south east of Bordeaux sits the small town of Haux. Here Easter brings a time of togetherness like no other. 
 
During the celebrations, a 4,500-egg omelette is cooked to feed around 1,000 souls in the town’s main square. 
 
It’s said the practice originates from the days of Napoleon Bonaparte, who, when travelling through, stopped to eat in Haux. He was so impressed with their omelettes, he ordered the townspeople to gather their eggs and make a giant omelette for his army. 
 

Corfu, Greece

 
On Corfu, Holy Saturday sees a rather peculiar event take place. 
 
The island’s people open their windows or take to their balconies to throw their pots, pans and other earthenware into the streets. 
 
Some say the smashed pottery symbolises the end of winter and is done in preparation of the upcoming harvest, which will be gathered in new pots. 
 

Want to see the world?

 
These are just some of the incredible ways people from around the world celebrate Easter. Perhaps you could witness them all for yourself. 
 
In 2018, a third of Key’s customers used some or all of the tax-free cash they unlocked from their home through equity release to fund holidays1
 
If you’re a homeowner over 55, equity release could let you access some of the money tied up in your property, and it’s yours to spend as you wish. 
 
If you want to grab a taste of the giant omelette in Haux, are desperate to witness the New York’s Easter parade, or fancy joining thousands watching as two churches engage in their annual rocket war on Chios, it’s possible you could do it with equity release. 
 
And it’s easy to see how much cash you could release from your home. Just use our simple online equity release calculator
 
Alternatively, request your free equity release guide here to learn more.
 

What should you consider before taking out equity release?

Our independent, specialist equity release advisers compare products from the whole market to find the most suitable equity release plan for you. They’ll discuss all the options available and explain that taking an equity release plan reduces the value of your estate and may affect any means-tested benefits you’re eligible for.
 
With a lifetime mortgage, you’ll still own your home. It’s a loan secured against your home and is repaid when you, or the last surviving applicant, pass away or move into long-term care. 
 
All equity release plans we recommend have a no negative equity guarantee. That means you’ll never owe more than the value of your home.
 
You have to get expert advice before releasing equity; it’s a regulatory requirement. Key’s initial consultation is free with no obligation to proceed. If you decide to go ahead with an equity release plan, our advice fee (usually 1.99% of the amount released, subject to a minimum of £1,499) is payable only on completion.
 
1Key’s Market Monitor FY 2018

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