4 International Easter Traditions

Easter is right around the corner and with it, a host of religious and cultural festivities that celebrate new life. The four international Easter traditions below just skim the surface of the interesting and unique activities that take place worldwide to commemorate the holiday.

 

1.  France54f63a6fb13f4_-_giant-omelet-xl

In the southwestern city of Haux, France, Easter eggs take huge precedent in the city—literally. Chefs arrive at the town’s main square to build a bonfire and fry up an omelet large enough to feed the entire town. The dish can feed up to 1,000 people and has been sized at over 10 feet in diameter. The gargantuan breakfast food requires 5,211 eggs, 21 quarts of oil and 110 pounds each of bacon, onion and garlic.

The annual omelet-making has been a tradition for just three decades but it stems back to Napoleon’s reign—the general demanded a giant egg dish be cooked for his soldiers as they passed through the French countryside.

 

2.  GreeceSONY DSC

The Greek Orthodox Church
places incredible importance on Easter and it’s one of the most tradition-filled holidays within the church. However, on the Greek island of Corfu, people break from mainland convention to take part in their own festivities.

One such practice? Tossing water-filled clay pots from their balconies.

Throwing these pots, also known as botides, originates from the Italian Venetians who welcomed in the New Year by throwing old household objects like tables, chairs and yes—pots—from their windows in an “out with the old, in with the new” approach. This New Year’s Day event still takes place throughout Italy but the Grecian islanders are the only ones who do this for Easter.

 

3.  Peru

Ayachucho, in central Peru, has 33 churches—one to symbolize each year of Jesus’ life—and the mountainous city reverently celebrates the 10 days leading up to Easter with constant religious and secular activities.

6-C-Night-comparsa

Some of these celebrations include music, dancing, ritual processions and bull running. Children carry bottles to collect holy water from the seven temples in the city. Colorful tapestries depicting religious imagery are sold in makeshift markets.

It’s an exciting week and the festivities end on Easter Sunday with a massive feast. Comprised of 12 traditional dishes, some favorites include chiriuchu (roasted guinea pig), papa rellena (stuffed potatoes) and chicha (a purple corn drink).

 

4.  AustraliaBilby-for-story1

Because Australian bunnies have a bad reputation for destroying crops and gardens, children on Easter Sunday get their chocolate eggs from the Easter Bilby, an endangered and indigenous rodent.

The big Easter event Down Under, however, is Pancake Tuesday (also known as Shrove Tuesday). Celebrated weeks before Lent, this day is hugely important to Australia’s Easter traditions and marks the time for pancakes to be eaten in profusion.

 

 

Easter is a big holiday for many people and communities around the world have special celebrations particular to their country, city or home. If you observe Easter, what do you do to celebrate?

 

Image Sources:

France Omelet

Corfu Pot-Throwing

Ayachucho

Easter Bilby

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3 International Coffee Recipes Worth Buzzing About

All over the world, coffee lovers satisfy their cravings via various routines, whether by brewing at home or by visiting a favorite coffeehouse. However, making a coffee beverage at home shouldn’t be as boring as waiting for the pot to brew, especially when you have guests over.

Whether you prefer hot or iced varieties, share a “coffee buzz” with friends over these delicious international java blends from Turkey, Greece and Germany.

Turkish Coffee

Turkish-Coffee Famous for the way it is made, Turkish coffee is prepared in an ibrik, or a small, heated coffeepot. The coffee is usually served hot in demitasse cups with matching saucers. The demitasse cups hold approximately half a cup, and some are decorated with beautiful, ornate patterns painted on either ceramic, pottery or porcelain. In some regions in Turkey, you can get your fortune told by the placement of the coffee remains left in the cup after drinking!

To make the Turkish coffee, you will need to purchase a bag of finely-ground coffee with a powder-like consistency. It is important to use cold water for brewing. The cardamom adds a very fragrant aroma to this brew that is meant to be sipped slowly with or without foam or sugar, depending on your preferences.

SERVINGS: 2

INGREDIENTS

1 cup water

1 tablespoon of extra finely-ground coffee (powder consistency)

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom, or 1 cardamom pod

Sugar (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring water and sugar to a boil in ibrik. (If you do not have an ibrik, a small saucepan will work.)
  2. Remove from heat and add coffee and cardamom.
  3. Return saucepan to heat and allow to come to a boil.
  4. Remove from heat when coffee foams.
  5. Again, return to heat, allowing to foam and remove from heat.
  6. Pour into cup, and allow to sit for a few minutes for the grounds to settle to the bottom of the cup.

The cardamom pod can be served in a cup for added flavor.

Greek Frappé

Locals in Santorini, Mykonos and elsewhere in Greece fondly refer to the Greek Greek-FrappeFrappé as their “National Drink.” Whether sipping on this creamy, iced blend by the pool or at the beach, this cold concoction can be enjoyed anytime during the day, especially through colorful straws while catching up with friends.

Although making the perfect Frappé is considered an art because it is served everywhere in Greece, it is relatively simple to make, depending on your preferences for sweetness, coldness and thickness.

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS

3 -4 teaspoons instant coffee

2 -4 teaspoons sugar (optional)

2 -6 ounces water

2 -6 ounces milk (optional)

Ice

DIRECTIONS

  1. An immersion blender performs most efficiently.
  2. Combine coffee, sugar and three tablespoons water in blender carafe.
  3. Whip contents to stiff froth and maximum volume.
  4. Pour froth into tumbler 2/3 full of ice.
  5. Add water and/or milk as desired to fill.

Sip with straw occasionally while stirring to combine froth with liquid. You may continue to sweeten to your liking, as well.

German-Style Eiskaffee (Iced Coffee Drink)

German-EiskaffeeOutside many restaurants in Germany are charming patio areas called “biergartens,” adorned with plants and outdoor furniture. This garden-like setting is where many locals will meet for a few hours to catch up over beer or coffee.

During the spring and summer months, Eiskaffee is a popular choice for German coffee beverages or desserts. Aside from the sweet, creamy texture of this delightful treat, an Eiskaffee is also popular for its beautiful presentation, including being served in a clear goblet or drinking glass with a cookie, a long spoon and/or a tall toothpick with streamers.

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS

1 scoop vanilla ice cream, good quality

1 cup strong brewed German coffee, chilled

1⁄2 cup whipped cream, sweetened to taste

Approximately 1 teaspoon grated sweet chocolate, to garnish

1 fancy wafer cookies

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place ice cream scoop into a decorative wine goblet or tall clear drinking glass.
  2. Add coffee to fill glass 1/2 – 3/4 full (amount will vary based on size of glass).
  3. Completely cover with a mountain of sweetened whipped cream (use the canned kind or a decorating bag to make decorative swirls). The whipped cream should be plentiful and just start to peak over the top of the glass rim.
  4. Sprinkle with freshly-grated, quality chocolate.
  5. Stick a wafer cookie into the whipped cream off to the side.

Serve with some sugar on the side for those who want to add more sweetness, although the additions of ice cream and whipped cream might be enough. Add a long spoon and a straw, and enjoy.

Recipe Sources:

Turkish Coffee via Food.com

Greek Frappé via Food.com

Eiskaffee via Food.com

 

Image Sources:

Turkish coffee via photopin cc

Frappe – metrio, me gala – Vanilla Lounge via photopin cc

Eiskaffee @ Cafe Flink via photopin cc