Easter is coming! Despite what the marketers and shopping malls would like you to think, it is technically the biggest Christian celebration of the year! It’s also a long-ish weekend to spend with your friends and family. And if you want to spend it abroad, here are some of the best places to go to on Easter.
5. Easter markets in Vienna
We all know that German-speaking lands are excellent when it comes to Christmas markets. But did you know that they also host Easter market? The biggest ones in Vienna are Schönbrunn (in front of a fancy Habsburg palace), Am Hof (downtown) and Freyung (ft. organic farmer’s market).
Two smaller, but no less fancy ones are markets in Palais Niederösterreich (indoors, focuses on Lower Austria, goes on for two days, already done in 2019) at the gardens at Hirschstetten (only goes for three days)
4. Alfombras and the processions in Antigua
Few people celebrate Easter as hard as Catholics and do, and few Catholics are more hardcore than those in Latin and South Americas. Guatemalans are already notable for their Easter festivals with floats, statues and pilgrims dressed in purple.
However, what happens before those festivities is no less impressive. Antiguans spend the week (and especially the Thursday night before Good Friday) creating alfombras, colorful and intricate sawdust carpets that line the streets. All of them are gone as the festival processions trample them underfoot, but that’s what they are made for!
3. Resurrection drums in Madrid
As one of the most Catholic realms of Europe, Spain has its own traditions of celebrating Easter. Of course, all of them pale before what happens on Palm Sunday in Madrid, when celebrations reach a fever pitch.
After a week of extremely Catholic processions, drum bands and brotherhoods gather at Plaza Mayor square on Easter Sunday. Their music is meant to celebrate the resurrection of Christ with a literal bang!
2. Easter markets in Colmar
Colmar is a spot in Alsace (France) that sounds like some remote village in Sweden (it’s not). When it comes to Easter, the celebration is marked by two markets. Nestled around a 14th century church, they offer all sorts of traditional arts, crafts and foods – including Lamala, a cake baked in a lamb-shaped mold.
You can also enjoy the quality music events that take place at the same. And if you came too early or too late (possibly because of a delayed flight), you can still enjoy the region by going on one of the walking tours of the vineyards!
1. Basically anything you find in Valletta
Malta has had a more military-related history when it comes to being a Christian land. And they still celebrate Easter with some pomp and fanfare. On the holy week, the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows is paraded through the streets of Valletta and the villages. On Thursday before the Good Friday, the faithful try to visit seven different churches, as it is custom.
The processions on Good Friday are the most solemn and even include people carrying crosses or dragging chains tied to their feet in penance. It all changes on Sunday when festive music accompanies the statue of Risen Christ through the streets. Meanwhile, the locals use it as an occasion to visit relatives and give children traditional Easter candy.
Easter weekend may be long for a weekend, but it’s still easy to miss the main events if you run afoul of a flight delay, a cancelled flight or overbooking. Rest easy, however: fill a flight compensation claim on Skycop and you may be entitled to up to €600 for your trouble! Think of the chocolate bunnies you could be!