6 Easter Customs from Our Readers

After the post 6 Easter Traditions You Might Not Know, many readers were kind enough to share their Easter customs with us. Now we will share your customs with everyone!

1. Semana Santa (Honduras)

Chicago ExPat witnessed the Holy Week procession called Semana Santa in Comayagua, Honduras. The traditional stations of the cross are laid out in beautiful temporary artworks made of colored sawdust! The sawdust rugs are made by professionals and by community groups or families. A mist of water is sprayed on the sawdust to keep it from blowing away. After many hours of work to make the sawdust rugs perfect, the procession walks on them. See more pictures of the procession.

2. Les Cloches de Paques (France)

J135 is from originally from France and remembers les cloches de Paques, or the bells of Easter. The story is that since the 7th century, church bells are silent between Holy Thursday and Easter as a sign of mourning between the death and resurrection of Christ. On Easter Sunday, they rang again. Children were told that the bells went to Rome to be blessed by the Pope. When the bells return on Easter Sunday, they bring decorated eggs and chocolates for children, much like the Easter Bunny elsewhere.

3. Egg Wars (Greece)

Lynnie told us how her family fights egg wars on Easter, to find out whose decorated egg is the toughest to crack. Joe and Kate both remember playing that game with their Greek families. I found a reference to the game played in Greece, where family members tap their eggs together. If your egg gets cracked, you are eliminated from the competition. The owner of the one that doesn't break will have good luck all year. Image by Flickr user valkyrieh116.

4. Cascarones (Mexico)

Jgutierrez and Andrea told us about cascarones, a Mexican tradition they've seen in Texas. Eggs are completely emptied, then the shell is filled with confetti. The hole is plugged up with a little tissue and glue. These eggs are decorated and either thrown or broken over someone's head, which will ensure them luck. For children, the eggshells are filled with candy or toys for Easter. The confetti eggs can be a part of any holiday celebration, and are often used at weddings. You can make your own cascarones at home. Image by Flickr user Nieve44/La Luz.

5. Vrhniški Pirhi (Slovenia)

Stripofil commented on this topic at my site and mentioned the Slovenian eggs called Vrhniški pirhi, a fairly recent art form developed by Franc Grom. He uses a tiny drill to make thousands of holes in an emptied egg shell, which form instricate patterns. Grom patented his process in 1995.

6. Peep Jousting (USA)

Bunnie reminded us of that relatively recent but popular US custom of Peep jousting. To joust, you have two marshmallow Peeps facing each other, armed with a wooden toothpick, in a microwave oven. The Peep that swells up enough to burst the other Peep with the toothpick is the winner. If that doesn't happen, the first Peep to explode or deflate is the loser. Image by Flickr user Mr Stein.

There were some Easter customs offered in the comments of the previous post that I couldn't confirm or find information about, such as the tendency for Texans to eat brisket for Easter dinner. They do; we just don't know why. However you celebrate, have a great holiday!

China Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Restore the Great Wall

The Great Wall of China has been standing proudly for thousands of years—but now, it needs your help. CNN reports that the wall has fallen into disrepair and the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation has launched an online crowdfunding campaign to raise money for restorations.

Stretching 13,000 miles across northern China, the Great Wall was built in stages starting from the third century BCE and reaching completion in the 16th century. To some degree, though, it’s always been under construction. For centuries, individuals and organizations have periodically repaired and rebuilt damaged sections. However, the crowdfunding campaign marks the first time the internet has gotten involved in the preservation of the ancient icon. The China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation is trying to raise $1.6 million (11 million yuan) to restore the wall, and has so far raised $45,000 (or 300,000 yuan).

Fundraising coordinator Dong Yaohui tells the BBC that, although the Chinese government provides some funds for wall repairs, it’s not enough to fix all of the damage: "By pooling the contribution of every single individual, however small it is, we will be able to form a great wall to protect the Great Wall," he said.

[h/t CNN]

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YouTube // Deep Look
These Glowing Worms Mimic Shining Stars
YouTube // Deep Look
YouTube // Deep Look

The glow worms of New Zealand's Waitomo caves produce light, mimicking the starry night sky. Using sticky goop, they catch moths and other flying creatures unfortunate enough to flutter into the "starry" cavern. Beautiful and icky in equal parts, this Deep Look video takes you inside the cave, and up close with these worms. Enjoy:

There's also a nice write-up with animated GIFs if you're not in the mood for video. Want more glow worms? Check out this beautiful timelapse in a similar cave, or our list of 19 Places You Won't Believe Exist topped by—you guessed it—New Zealand's Glowworm Caves!


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