Happy Good Friday everyone! Easter is a time of year when I really miss home. Latvians have some fantastic traditions, some weird but all wonderful, to mark the occasion. Last year I already managed to share my joint favourites with you: egg dyeing with onion skins and egg fighting. So for 2012 you get my second favourite…
Latvians believe that, in order to protect yourself from being attacked by mosquitos during the summer, you must swing on Easter Sunday. And so it is that giant wooden swings take centre stage at many public Easter celebrations to this day, where locals queue up to protect themselves from mozzies, driving the repellent industry into the ground.
Over the past 6 years that I’ve been away from Latvia during the Easter period, I’ve found myself in some rather bizarre situations. A few times I’ve had to resolve to swinging from tree branches due to a lack of real swings in the vicinity.
My most remarkable Easter adventure, however, has got to be two years ago on Canadian soil. A group of us had taken a road trip to Green Gables, Anne’s house on Prince Edward Island. It felt like we were the only people around for miles yet somehow we returned to our parked car only to discover three bags had disappeared. And so Easter was spent on a sombre note, drinking to the loss of a few iPods, cash, Mexican and Polish credit cards and a pair of glasses that left my dear Miss Polish Travelling Buddy having to wear prescription sunglasses at all times of the day. Needless to say we still managed to laugh at the whole thing after our initial shock had passed!
Oh gosh, and how could I forget my Icelandic Easter adventure in 2009? Freezing our butts off with Miss Red Headed Lithuanian, but warming the cockles of our hearts with fresh fish stew, live music by FM Belfast at Aldrei For Eg Sudur Festival in Isafjordur and a swim at the local hot spring.
Do you celebrate Easter with a bang? Share your favourite traditions and let me know if you’ve ever found yourself in an odd situation or if it’s really only me who has such random Easter stories to tell.
– Miss Red