Tag Archives: Holiday

The Top 5 Worldwide Easter Trends

Easter chocolate
Easter chocolate
Source: Getty Images

Easter is a Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The New Testament says this occurred on the third day of his burial after his crucifixion. It is preceded by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.

In countries with a large Christian population or history, Easter is often a public holiday. As Easter is always on a Sunday, many countries in the world also observe Easter Monday as a public holiday and some also have Good Friday (the day of Christ’s crucifixion).

1. The Easter Egg Hunt

Obama rolling eggs with children on the White House lawn
Source: Wikimedia

As an ancient Pagan symbol of new life and rebirth, the egg became associated by the Christians with Jesus’ crucifixion and subsequent resurrection.

Although the roots of the Easter egg hunt aren’t known, many believe it dates back to the 1700s and the Pennsylvania Dutch in the US. They believed that a rabbit called the Oschter Haws laid eggs in the grass. Children then built nests for the rabbit to lay in so they could search for its eggs after. The Oschter Haws eventually became known as the Easter Bunny, no longer laying eggs, but leaving treats instead.

Today’s most famous Easter egg hunt is held at the White House on Easter Monday. The “egg roll” party has been hosted by American presidents and their families since 1878. It is held on the South Lawn and is one of the oldest annual events in White House history. The First Lady Dolley Madision is credited with the original idea of a public egg roll and there are stories that President Abraham Lincoln hosted some informal ones during his tenure.

2. Decorating Eggs

giant Easter eggs in Croatia
Source: Wikimedia

During their celebrations of springtime and the new life it brings, ancient peoples would include the symbolic eggs (as mentioned above) by decorating them. These coloured eggs would then be given to their friends and families as gifts. When Christianity spread, this tradition was integrated. The most common colour used to dye them was red as a symbol of Christ’s blood shed as he was crucified.

Today, different countries have different techniques for decorating their Easter eggs. For example, in Ukraine intricate folk designs are drawn onto eggs and then they are dyed. Rather than dying eggs, the people of the Czech Republic blow the egg out of its shell and then wrap and weave thin wire around it.

3. Easter Fire

German Easter Fire
Source: www.thelocal.de

During the Easter weekend, large fires are lit at dusk in Northwestern European regions including Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Northern Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Austria. The tradition has been around at least since the 16th century, although likely was performed by the Saxons long before. These fires were traditionally lit to symbolize Spring’s victory over Winter, chasing its darkness away. They also symbolized fertility and the ashes were used in fields and meadows around town to help the new crops grow. Today these fires are more an excuse to come together as a community and enjoy yummy food and drinks.

4. Pot Throwing

Smashing pots
Source: www.jcjourneys.com

Primarily an Orthodox Easter celebration on Corfu, a Greek island, pot throwing is believed to chase off evil spirits. The origin of this surprising custom is not clear, however locals believe that the Venetians started it when they ruled Corfu from the 14th to 18th centuries. At the beginning of each new year, the Venetians would throw away old belongings to make way for the fresh new ones.

After the Venetians left, the Greeks adapted the custom by replacing the old belongings with clay pots and shifting the date to the highly-important Easter holiday. When these pots are smashed, the spectators take pieces home as good luck charms. Some also believe that the pots are a symbol of the new crops that will come with the arrival of springtime.

5. Pouring Water On One Another

men drenching woman with water in Hungary
Source: Wikimedia

Easter Monday is also known as Wet Monday in Eastern European countries such as Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary. Some say Wet Monday gained its name when Christianity came to Poland and the Prince Mieszko was baptized on Easter Monday. It also may have its origins in a Slavic pagan ceremony in which the Corn Mother fertility goddess was “watered.” A doll or wreath made from corn received this water to encourage the crops’ growth.

Whichever the origin, the Śmigus-dyngus tradition lives on through the pouring of water on girls and boys. On Monday, boys pour water on girls and spank them with willow branches. Willows being the first tree to bloom in the springtime according to legend, the spanking serves to transfer the tree’s vitality and fertility. The wettest girl has the highest chance of getting married. The next day it is the girls’ turn to throw water on the boys and spank them back.

Help Easter Bunny in the online slot game Bunny Boiler and you might get much more than just few eggs.

Which Locations Are Hot For 2019 Weddings?

beach wedding

Dreaming of a destination wedding this year but you aren’t sure where? We understand -there are hundreds of locations to choose from! Here are our top ten places to say “I do” to the love of your life!

1. Amalfi Coast, Italy

Amalfi Coast
Source: one foot abroad

Italy’s Amalfi Coast has everything your perfect wedding needs. Jaw-dropping photo spots? Check – the Amalfi Drive takes you along the cliffs overlooking the gorgeous Tyrrhenian Sea. Delicious food? Check – you’re in Italy! Guest activities for the rest of the wedding weekend? Triple check – Pompeii’s haunting ruins, Naples ancient winding streets, and gorgeous boat rides off Capri are just some of the options you have. The UNESCO World Heritage Site does attract a lot of tourists though, so aim for April, May, September, or October.

2. Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel Mexico
Source: azamaraclubcruises.com

Cozumel is a Mexican island in the Caribbean off the Yucatan Peninsula. The island is home to nature reserves including the Chankanaab National Park and one of the largest coral reef systems in the world. If you love the outdoors and want a slice of paradise without being surrounded by tourists, Cozumel is the place to go. Just be sure to avoid the spring breakers of March and April. The best time of year is from mid-December through the end of February for your paradise wedding.

3. Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

fireworks over Las Vegas
Source: Wikimedia

Maybe you’ve always dreamed of being married by the King between roulette games or perhaps you want to see what all Sin City has to offer. While Vegas is known for elopements and crazy wedding spots, there are also chic ballrooms and all-inclusive resorts to cater to every desire. Plus, you can have wedding pictures from all over the world, simply by jumping from one hotel to another along the strip. Go from Rome (Caesars Palace) to Venice (The Venetian Las Vegas) to New York (New York Hotel and Casino) to Egypt (Luxor Hotel and Casino) to Paris (Paris Las Vegas) all in less than an hour.

4. Franschhoek, South Africa

Franschhoek Wedding
Source: DNAphotographers

Located right in the middle of South Africa’s winelands, Franschhoek (“French Corner” in Afrikaans) provides an alternative to Bordeaux, France, for a wine-lover’s wedding. Located 45 minutes from Cape Town, the valley has many world-class wineries and destination restaurants that can serve as your venue or activities to do while there. The climate is temperate year-round, so you can choose your date as you wish.

5. Phuket, Thailand

Phuket Wedding
Source: The Wedding Bliss Thailand

The largest and most luxurious of Thailand’s islands, Phuket will draw you in with its gorgeous fine white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. The best time of the year to have your wedding in Thailand is between November and February, when you don’t have to worry about the monsoon or too much heat. Try the north of the island for some hidden romantic spots.

6. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Punta Cana beach at sunset
Source: Wikimedia

Home to some of the best super-fine sand beaches (20 miles long!), Punta Cana is THE most popular destination in the Dominican Republic. The temperature averages 78-82F (25-28C) all year long, meaning it’s just as perfect for a Christmas wedding as one in June. Your pictures will look amazing with the cerulean blue water in the background and the coconut palm trees that go all the way to the water’s edge. And you don’t need to stress over planning as the many all-inclusive resorts offer wedding planners and packages to choose from.

7. The Big Island, Hawaii, USA

The Big Island, Hawaii, USA
Source: World for Travel

Do you want to be married on the moon? While it isn’t yet possible, you can have the next best thing on the Kona coast of Hawaii’s Big Island. The largest island in the Hawaii chain provides a variety of landscapes and climate zones for your wedding photos. The island is a perfect choice for a wedding at any time of the year. If you want to save some money, just avoid winter as it is peak tourist season.

8. Matangi Island, Fiji

Matangi Island, Fiji
Source: Expedia

Have you always wished you could have an island of your own? It’s possible – if only for the time of your wedding – at Matangi, a private island in the Fiji Group. A unique 240-acre horseshoe-shaped island, you will have calm and all the relaxing activities you’d like during your stay. The resort offers an island wedding package for US$975 + tax that covers everything you’ll need for your intimate wedding getaway.

9. Byron Bay, Australia

Byron Bay, Australia
Source: Wikimedia

Located in New South Wales, Byron Bay offers an abundance of wedding venues and professional planners all looking to make your day one-of-a-kind. While you can of course have an ocean view in this beachside town, there are also stunning venues located a little inland. Check out the luxurious Byronview Farm for 360-degree views of the ocean and the hinterland.

10. Punta Leona, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Punta Leona, Costa Rica
Source: punta-leona-hotel-jaco.booked.net

Only one hour away from the bustling capital of San José, Punta Leona Beach offers striking properties for a destination wedding. Although it has a tropical climate year-round, the country can be affected by the Atlantic hurricane season. Our recommendation is to plan your wedding from December to April. Try the Villa Caletas and Zephyr Palace with enough rooms and suites (61 total) to host all your guests.