SOURCE: Cheapflights.co.uk

Cheapflights.co.uk

March 12, 2012 12:05 ET

Cheep Cheep: Cheapflights' Easter Special

Top Traditions From Top Destinations Make Their Way to Your Easter Basket for a Happy Easter This 2012

LONDON--(Marketwire - Mar 12, 2012) - Cheapflights.co.uk, the UK's online leader in flight deals publishing, is bringing Easter from around the world to everyone's doorstep with its Top 10 Easter Celebrations featuring unique traditions and even differing celebration dates.

"Easter is a great time of year for travel because it also marks the start of spring, so it's a beautiful time to enjoy a break. It's also a chance to see some of great cultural traditions played out in very local ways," says Nadine Hallak, Travel Expert for Cheapflights.co.uk.

We asked around the office for examples of Easter traditions our diverse team has seen or grew up with to build a list of fun and festive ways this holiday is marked. Here we explore five of the Top 10 Easter Celebrations Around the World:

Ceremonious in Lebanon
Lebanon's Christians make up almost half the country's population and are very fervent in their beliefs. As such, Easter here is a big deal characterised by ornately decorated streets, shops and restaurants filled with all things Easter from bunnies to chocolates, painted eggs and even live baby chicks. Good Friday is marked by a mass that symbolizes the crucifixion and, depending on one's Christian denomination, can last up to three hours. Easter Sunday is a huge celebration where absolutely everyone goes to church. After taking communion, the 40 day fast of eating a strictly vegan diet is broken. This is followed by a feast where lots of egg breaking ensues. A custom that is particularly unique to Lebanon is Shanineh, which is held at church where candles decorated with ribbons and flowers are handed to children who form a procession and carry them around the church. Also unique to Easter in the region is the consumption of sweets called Maamoul, little cookies made with a mixture of semolina and butter then stuffed with either dates or ground sugared nuts and dusted with icing sugar. They melt in your mouth.

All Bells en France
In France, church bells ring every day of the year except for the three days of Easter. Legend has it that the reason the bells stop ringing is because they've made a trip to Rome in order to be blessed. On Easter Sunday, the bells make their return and tour the entire country sprinkling chocolate eggs, chickens and rabbits as they go in each and every garden. After midday, children head to the gardens to find their hidden treasures left by the blessed bells. The day of events also includes a hearty meal, normally consisting of lamb, which is the Easter dish of choice in France.

Celebration and Sobriety in Sunny Spain
In Spain, Easter is also the most important Christian event. Celebrated en masse throughout the country, Easter Week begins with Domingo de Ramas (Palm Sunday) and ends with Lunes de Pascua (Easter Monday). The country is marked by a carnival atmosphere throughout, with trumpets and drums.

Seville in Andalucia is the most famed Spanish region for Easter celebrations. It has 52 different religious brotherhoods whose members parade through the streets for the entire Holy Week manifesting the crucifixion. Processions continue for almost 24 hours culminating in the jubilation of the resurrection, which is observed by floats covered in flowers, dancing in the streets, and traditional sweet cakes.

Eggy Fun in Sweden
Easter in Sweden is about fun, food and festivity. It is especially good for family breaks as many of the Easter activities involve children.

Humour filled celebrations commence on Easter Saturday with children dressing up as good witches setting the Easter mood by giving out letters and cards in return for eggs, sweets and coins.

On Easter Sunday, food takes centre stage where, in typically Nordic fashion, the feast comprises mostly fish. Edibles include different kinds of herring, a selection of smoked salmon, a hint of roast ham and various cheeses. Of course, the main attraction is eggs, which are exchanged and later used in a game where participants roll them down roofing tiles to see which egg can go the furthest without breaking.

Greek Methodology
Greece and Godliness go hand in hand. From Mythology to Christianity, Greek religious practices have always been carried out with great zeal. The Greek Orthodox Church follows the Byzantine calendar, so its Easter is celebrated on a different date, which is determined by the moon's cycle. In Greece, it is the most sacred holiday of the year marked by a full week of celebration. This year's Orthodox Easter Sunday takes place on 15th April.

In Athens, Good Friday marks the first main event where a replica of 'Christ's' tomb is carried through town. The most sacred of Easter events takes place the following day when people flock to the churches at midnight carrying unlit candles for the declaration of Christ's resurrection in saying 'Christos Anesti' (Christ is Risen!) to which the reply is 'Alithos Anesti' (he is risen indeed!). Following this announcement, they light their candles from the Holy Flame taken from Christ's nativity cave in Jerusalem and walk through town enjoying a glorious display of fireworks, bells and jubilation.

Easter Sunday is a day of food and more fun. After an arduous 40 day fast, the menu comprises spit fire roast lamb and lots of coloured eggs. In the Orthodox tradition, you knock eggs with your neighbour attempting to crack theirs to bring yourself good fortune.

For the full Top 10 Easter Celebrations Around the World, visit http://news.cheapflights.co.uk/top-ten-easter-celebrations-around-the-world/

To search and compare flights to these or any other destination, visit http://www.cheapflights.co.uk/flights/

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