Yes, I know I am posting this on St. Patrick’s day but it is just about time for Easter again! In our society, we gather chocolate, eat candy, dye real eggs, discover fake eggs, and find bunnies, ducks, anything pastel, really. The world, however, is a vast intermingling of communities and customs; traditions and cute animals vary everywhere!
Meet the Bilby! In Australia, you might run into more chocolate bibly’s than you would chocolate bunnies! This cute little creature is actually a native occupant of the island and like their relatives, kangaroos, they are marsupials. Bilbies are also endangered, which is what led to the decision to have them replace the Easter bunny. Many companies across Australia have switched their products to the bilby to raise awareness for the species and help fund efforts to keep the bilby boogying! There are several popular Australian brands that donate part of their earnings to the bilbys, including “Pink Lady” and “Haigh’s Chocolate” to name a couple.
CZECK REPULBLIC AND SLOVAKIA
If you happen to be traveling to either the Czeck Republic or Slovakia for Easter, watch out! Traditionally in these countries, men adorn themselves with a willow stick, decorate it with ribbons and go around “spanking” their wives or significant others. Since the willow tree is the first to bloom in the spring, it is believed that the vitality and fertility of the branch will give the woman youth and good fortune. So while it seems like this started as a very dark Easter tradition, it appears to have turned into a very innocent and good intentioned sport.
I picked this last tradition because it seems like a popular one, plus, I just really like the name of it. Let’s talk about Śmigus-Dyngus! Meaning, “Wet Monday”, this tradition is celebrated on the Monday following Easter Sunday. Again with this tradition, it seems like the girls are getting picked on by the boys! Boys customarily throw buckets of water on girls and sometimes even give the girls a friendly whip with a willow branch. While this began in Poland, it has spread through most parts of Eastern Europe. If a girl gets doused on Śmigus-Dyngus, it is said that they will marry within the next year!
At the Brittany’s we stick pretty close to the traditions we know best. We are having an Easter Egg Hunt! Our park turns into a wonderland of plastic eggs and candy. Mixed in with the traditional eggs, there will be prize eggs! Prizes range from stuffed animals to toys to the $50.00 cash prize egg! For more information on our hunt (or any other rental needs), contact The Brittany’s office.
Have a fun and safe St. Patrick’s Day!