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Chances are that, today, your Easter travel plans don't involve any elaborate trips. Aside from (if you're Christian) heading to and from church this morning, the longest ride might simply be to a relatives house in the state.
But next year, if you're looking to make your Easter celebration more memorable (and longer-lasting), you might consider aq few of these destinations, where Easter traditions are taken very seriously:
On Easter Sunday In Florence, two white oxen help drag a large antique chart through the streets of the ancient city, in celebration called "The Explosion of the Chart."
The oxen and the chart alike are decorated with flowers and other items, followed by costumed personnel. Later, the Archbishop lights a dove-shaped fire rocket, that screeches across the sky.
In Krakow, as in all of Poland, four days of the "Holy Week" are treated as a time for somber remembrances. On Easter Sunday, children attend church and bring with them a basket, offered up as a sacrifice to Jesus.
On Monday, however, the atmosphere turns festive. The Emaus fair, at the Convent of St. Norbert’s, where you can find many interesting stalls and enjoy the smingus-dyngus, a folk custom that consists in splashing each other water with a bucket. On Tuesday another Krakow ancient recurrence takes place - the Rekawka fair at the church of St. Benedict. The festival probably has pagan origins in honor of death but, in the latest years, it has assumied a more festive face attracting children and selling thousands of sweets and toys.
In Helsinki there are many interesting Easter traditions to enjoy. A very original one is the Virpominen or Virvonta. During the Palm Sunday children wear witch costumes and bring willow branches decorated with colorful details and crepe paper. Dressed up for this special event, kids walk around the neghbourhood knocking at doors to say an old poetry.People listen the poem and then take one of the willow branches offering to the children chocolate or other sweets. This practice is believed to be influenced by the Christian tradition of waving palm leaves to recall the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem and by a pagan tradition popular in the Karelia region on the orthodox area.
Even if in this country Christians are only 2.5% of the total population Easter is celebrate with a great emphasis and interest . This feast in India has origin from the British rule period and represents an occasion to exchange gifts, go to church and take part at original carnival parades.
Happy Easter everyone, from The Cheshire Herald.
(Note: The information above is courtesy of UniTravel.com.)