Sprinkle, roll, dye and hunt: Easter around the world
All over the world, people celebrate and observe Easter this week. Solemn church masses, processions, chocolate bunnies and eggs come to mind. Traditions vary from one country to the next - and some are quite unique.
Easter egg hunts and elaborate Easter Parades mark the holiday for many American families. On Easter Monday, the First Family hosts the famous White House Easter Egg Roll. The theme 2014 is "Hop into healthy, swing into shape" and thousands of people are invited to join in the fun.
Tap the egg
In Bulgaria, Easter eggs are not simply hidden in baskets and they're not just meant for eating, either. Bright red eggs, a symbol of Easter for Orthodox Christians, are taken to church to be blessed, and one egg is tapped on the wall of the church. People tap each others' eggs, and whoever ends up with the last unbroken egg is believed to have a year of good luck and health.
Hungarian boys and men traditionally visit female relatives and neighbors on Easter Monday, and douse them with perfumed water or sprinkle them with perfume - in exchange for Easter eggs and sweet treats.
Drench the girls
Poland has many somber religious celebrations and traditions for Easter - but on Easter Monday, it's time for Smingus Dyngus when boys run through villages and towns and throw water on the girls.
During Easter week, or Semana Santa, festivities take place all over Spain. Many cities celebrate with spectacular processions, complete with enormous floats and accompanied by drums and music groups marching through the streets. One of the most famous is in Seville, where members of brotherhoods dressed in penitential robes and hoods attract large crowds.
Silence of the bells
In France, church bells are silenced in acknowledgement of Jesus' death on the Thursday before Good Friday. Children are told that the bells' chimes have flown to Rome to see the Pope. On Easter morning, the bells ring out again in celebration of the Resurrection.
Urbi et orbi
Impressive processions, often decorated with olive branches instead of palm fronds, and solemn masses: Easter is one of the most important religious festivals in Italy. After Easter Sunday mass, the Pope gives his annual Urbi et Orbi Easter address, broadcast around the world.
Young children dress up as Easter witches in Finland, pulling on colorful old clothes and painting freckles on their faces. They go from door to door, carrying willow twigs decorated with feathers and crepe paper as blessings to drive away evil spirits - in return for treats.
Semana Santa is an important holiday in the church calendar in predominantly Catholic Mexico, too. Jubilant processions, passion plays and vigils are part of the two-week festivities. Much to children's joy, traditional Mexican Easter eggs, the cascarones, are filled with confetti.
In Germany, bushes and trees are often decorated with colorful eggs, and early on Easter Sunday, parents hide baskets filled with dyed hardboiled eggs, chocolate bunnies and little presents for the kids. Germans enjoy a long Easter weekend; Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays.