Of Påskkärring, Hicken-Bicken, and Easter Swings – Easter Traditions Around the World

How do you celebrate Easter? Hunt for Easter eggs? Paint eggs? Go to church? Green Pearls® took a closer look at different Easter traditions around the world. In Sweden “Easter hags,” or how the Swedish call them “Påskkärring,” collect candy in empty coffee pots, and in Australia the bilby (a not very well known marsupial) brings the eggs, instead of the Easter bunny. Some countries like Latvia are a little more unorthodox. Latvians swing together on a so called “Easter Swing” to bless their livestock and grain and protect themselves from mosquitoes the following summer. Definitely unique!

East Frisians Nötenscheten and Eiertrüllen for Easter


The German province of East Frisia has many interesting Easter traditions, with funny names like Nötenscheten and Hicken-Bicken Sönndag. Nötenscheten (“firing nuts”) is a boccia-like game played by six people who try to flick a walnut into a marked area. You can set up in your own yard, a parking lot, or the park.

Osterfüür (Easter fire) and Eiertrüllen are traditions in East Frisia and on the island of Juist, in the Wadden area of Lower Saxony. But what in the world is Eiertrüllen? It’s very simple – everyone rolls an egg down the nearest hill, dike, or dune. The fastest egg that also reaches the bottom unscathed is the winner! Since the eggs are eaten afterward this is a very sustainable tradition. Important for Juist, since it is set on becoming a climate-neutral destination by 2030. Being “green” is not a trend, but a lasting strategy for Juist!

Italian Love Handles with Papal Blessing

The small hotel Relais del Maro is situated not far from the French Riviera. It is something very unique – the hotel’s rooms are not housed together on the same premises but spread throughout the historic buildings of the small village of Borgomaro. You can enjoy Easter in eco-friendly peace since the guests’ comfort and the hotel’s sustainability are top priorities for the hotel.

You can’t think of Italy and Easter together without mentioning the many irresistible Italian delicacies. Among which are a savory cake (Torta Rustica), giant chocolate eggs, and the Colomba Pasquale (a sweet almond cake formed like a dove). Prepared with only regional ingredients you can try those at the eco-friendly hotel. Together with your hosts, Elena and her family, you will be able to watch the pope’s traditional blessing “urbi et orbi” on the television.

Mourning Hags and Silent Church Bells

More diverse than in most countries are the Easter traditions in Switzerland. Every Swiss canton has its own! In the West “mourning hags” flock to the streets accompanied by prayers and hymns. They are dressed in all black carrying the instruments of Christ’s torture on a red pillow. In Geneva fountains are decorated with eggs, twigs, and ribbons. As custom in the Catholic faith, church bells remain silent from Good Friday to Easter Mass. In St. Gallen everyone plays a boccia-like game with sticks. We are sure Swiss locals “knüttel” even in the castle’s park at Schloss Wartegg. You can take out a bike, or as the Swiss call it “velo,” on one of the many lanes the hotel created specifically for cyclists instead of the traditional Easter walk.

Easter Caribbean Style 

Bright sun, sandy beaches, and hunting for Easter eggs? No problem during your vacation in the Caribbean. You can escape the daily hassle to the eco-friendly Morena Eco Resort and enjoy the peace and quiet on Curaçao. Since the majority of people in the Caribbean are Christians you don’t even have to miss Easter! Apart from Easter treats and decorations, your search for those will be unsuccessful, many traditions are similar to those in central Europe. Join the locals in Mess on Easter Sunday for a unique experience: Church Caribbean style. Surely it will be very different from what you are used to at home! Church services here are much more lively than those in Europe. African influences create a fun atmosphere with lots of singing.

Wherever you decide to spend your Easter, Green Pearls® wishes you a very happy Easter!