5 Awesome Foreign Easter Traditions (That We Need)

Easter enjoys little credibility compared to most other traditional holidays, what with its silly bunny mascot and traditions that mostly revolve around eggs. If you ask me, that's unfair. At its core, Easter is one of the most badass holidays. Many cultures thoroughly embrace it as the feast of death and resurrection that it is, and fill it with traditions that truly remind you of your own mortality. If you don't believe me, just ask the Filipino men who let themselves be nailed to crosses just to celebrate the season.

So why don't we man the hell up, throw our stupid egg-hiding Easter Bunnies to the wind, and adopt some real Easter traditions? Even Halloween wouldn't have shit on a holiday that features glorious madness such as ...

#5. Ancient And Elaborate Firework Rituals

Via Too Much Tuscany

Look at the above picture. Look at it. That is happening near someone's face this Easter, and it is awesome.

I'm not saying that the way you celebrate Easter is bad, per se. It's not my intention to imply that there is something wrong with the way you intend to celebrate the event -- whether it's ODing on Cheetos and Netflix, or arranging a grand Hollywood-style family dinner where your pretty yet ditzy cousin falls for the handsome but stuck-up young lawyer you invited for reasons you can't recall right now, and romantic comedy hijinks ensue. It's all good.

Just know that as you're doing your thing, the people of Florence, Italy are watching a complex tower rain hellfire over their city.

Maremagnum/The Image Bank/Getty Images
Right on their faces.

That elaborate three-story structure is the ornate centerpiece of a 350-year-old rite known as Scoppio de Carro, aka the Explosion of the Cart, based on a hodgepodge of historical fact and legend about a local nobleman famous for his First Crusade antics. The complete rite takes several hours and involves a badass parade and various clerical and political folks mucking about in official robes. Also a ton of smoke and explosions.

Via Unseen Tuscany
A ton.

What I love about this ritual is its official nature contrasted with the awesome payoff: Basically, a huge lot of Church and city bigwigs go through this ancient, elaborate ritual, just to place a huge, ornate, flaming fart box in the middle of a square and set it off on everyone. There's probably some snarky commentary re: politics and religion to be made there, but I'm pretty sure we'd all be too busy whooping at the fire twirls this thing spits out to get too hopped on sociopolitical debate. And sometimes that's something we all need.

#4. Batshit Insane Food

rayisa/iStock/Getty Images

Most major holidays come with a clear food theme; Thanksgiving has its turkey feast, Christmas is the same but now with eggnog, while Halloween is all about pumpkin spice and alcohol poisoning. Easter does have its ham and roast lamb, but the first and foremost food that springs to mind when you think of the holiday is ... eggs. Boiled. Fucking. Eggs. Is that a good food to celebrate with? It's not -- just look at Cool Hand Luke.

Which brings us to the noble iguana.

Bariscan Celik/E+/Getty Images
... ladies.

The iguana, generally in soup form, is a popular Easter delicacy in Colombia, along with a host of courses made from a certain type of turtle and a huge-ass rodent called the capybara. A surefire sign of the holiday is the rampant smuggling of these animals from rural areas to cities, and the inevitable hilarity that ensues when a bunch of them escape and start wreaking havoc in a city environment.

Now, don't think I'm encouraging anyone to go full Charlie Darwin and start eating random, possibly endangered animals. I'm merely using iguana soup as an example of the Mad Libs nature of Easter food around the world, and how ridiculous it is that we've settled for fuckin' eggs when all this glorious insanity is going on around us.

Tons of cultures let their hair down on Easter and experiment with their cuisine. Polish Catholics (and the people of Buffalo, NY, for some reason) chow down on lamb statues made of butter. Finland, a country that contributes to Christmas tradition with a creepy Santa abomination that will curse you with bad luck unless you appease it with booze, provides the dessert in the form of mammi. It's a traditional rye-and-molasses concoction that tastes like the roof of your mouth after you visit your local Oktoberfest and wake up a week later in a cargo ship headed to Lithuania, and looks like what you'll poop immediately afterwards.

Via Helsinki Times
Ancient Finns felt food is as good an excuse as any to get angry and/or drinking.

So I propose the following: This year, forget the damn eggs and boring hams. Go nuts with your Easter cuisine. Fill your table with excitement -- roast crickets with honey, barbecued liverwurst, ham and bananas hollandaise. It may not be delicious, but it will be the most memorable meal you'll ever remember terror-sweating over.

And once the table is set, we can make a certain Cracked writer eat it all, just as Jesus intended.

#3. Egg Wars

indigolotos/iStock/Getty Images

So now that we've got our priorities straight re: Easter/Passover (shut up, they're practically interchangeable these days) comestibles, what are we going to do with all those damned eggs? Shenanigans, that's what! Once again, tradition comes to our rescue in the shape of a whole host of awesome ways to wreck shit using nothing but an egg or three thousand.

The Easter Egg Roll is mostly known as that lame-but-kind-of-sweet event the White House arranges for kids, but the concept comes in many, many variations. Both Germans and Scots have a version where the eggs are rolled down steep hills (or sometimes an actual pre-made track) instead of pushing them with spoons along flat ground. If you're into more aggressive elements, you should look into egg jarping, which is basically that thing where you tap two eggs together to see which one breaks first, but competitive enough that people may attempt to cheat by varnishing or over-boiling their eggs.

Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Images/Getty Images
"We don't care if your goose keeps laying those, dude. You're not using them."

And then there is egg dancing, an old tradition where people scatter eggs on the floor and attempt to tap-dance their way through them without stepping on one. All these activities have two things in common: They're way more fun than the bullshit Easter egg hunt we have now, and they're custom-made for getting shitfaced with your friends and having a great time. Hell, even when everyone's motor control is too far gone to deal with rolling eggs, there's still the Mexican Cascaron, which is basically egg war using special eggs filled with confetti, bird seed or -- if you're feeling lazy -- yolk.

Fucking trick eggs, man. Trick eggs. Somewhere, Green Arrow is watching your attempts to hide perfectly good ammunition for a sorry egg hunt, and weeping in impotent rage.

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Pauli Poisuo

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