9 Strange Easter Traditions from Around the World

In Association with First Choice

Easter Traditions in Other Countries

happy easter

I’ve been living in the UK for 15 years now, originally from Canada and for the most part Easter and the traditions around it are fairly similar; people giving up things for Lent, attending church, decorating Easter Eggs, a visit from the Easter Bunny, overindulging in chocolate, making Easter Bonnets and of course you can’t forget the Hot Cross Buns.

For us as a family it’s more about the celebration of the beginning of spring.  We enjoy decorating Easter Eggs and we always have a small Easter Egg Hunt at home and on occasion join in more organised Easter Egg Trails elsewhere. I think it’s the only day of the year she’s allowed to eat chocolate before breakfast.

I always thought the Brits were a bit odd!

However, I have discovered one rather strange Easter Tradition here in the UK and that is the annual Pancake Race on Shrove Tuesday.  Pancake Day wasn’t new to me, as historically people had pancakes to use up all of the rich ingredients such as butter, eggs and sugar that they were giving up for Lent, but competitively racing through the streets with a frying pan definitely was.

ScreenHunter_215 Mar. 28 15.20

Apparently, this tradition originated when a housewife was so busy making pancakes that she forgot the time and when she heard the church bells she ran out of the house still carrying the frying pan.

This got me thinking about other slightly bizarre Easter Traditions around the world.

Luckilly in this day and age it has been easier than ever to reach other countries for Easter, for example First Choice or Thompsons offer flights to countries like Portugal, Spain and Greece, all of which celebrate Easter too.


9 Strange Easter Traditions from Around the World


1) In parts of North East England and Scotland they roll decorated Easter Eggs down a hill to see which one cracks first.


2) In Poland, they have a tradition of using a mold to create Butter Lamb Sculptures which are presented in decorative bowls or baskets and symbolize the ‘Lamb of God’.


3) In many places in Greece, including Crete, the children spend the day collecting materials for a bonfire and then after Midnight Mass on the Saturday the light an effigy of Judas.


4) I don’t fancy being a female in Slovakia.  The girls are chased through the streets while the males whip them with sticks made from willow branches.  Apparently this ensures fertility and beauty.  Sounds a tad barbaric to me.


5) You won’t find the Easter Bunny in Australia, where bunnies are deemed to be pests, instead you will find Chocolate Bilbies.  Australians use this as an opportunity to build awareness for this endangered species.

6) In Hungary, they are partial to a giant water fight where the men throw water on women dressed in traditional clothes.

7) Easter in Finland, look a lot like Halloween in other parts of the world.  The children scour the streets looking for treats while dressed as witches with brooms.


8) The Germans take the opportunity to mark the end of winter and beginning of spring by burning their Christmas trees!


9) And I always thought New Zealanders were gentle easy going people, but instead of an Easter Egg Hunt they partake in The Great Easter Bunny Hunt where hunters join together in teams and shoot as many bunnies as they can.

Some of these look like great fun and others slightly cruel.  I think we’ll stick to eating chocolate and wishing for Spring.

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Easing the Transition from Primary to Secondary School

In association with ASDA

primary school

Cast your mind back to when you were 11. If you’re able to remember how you felt back then (and congratulations if you have the memory skills to do such a thing!), you’ll know how it felt in the run up to secondary school. You’ll remember the nerves and the anticipation as you made your way through primary school, only to become one of the youngest kids in the school again. No wonder some kids get incredibly worked up about the whole process, especially if they’re going to a different school than some of their best friends.

However, easing the transition from primary to secondary school is possible and, as their parent, you can be a key element in the process.

School TransitionPut yourself in their shoes

As mentioned earlier, cast your mind back to when you were in their shoes. Secondary school can be daunting for many reasons – the bigger kids, the subjects, the size of the school, the new people – its understandable that they’re feeling a little apprehension, and you will be able to be more supportive if you can emotionally relate to them.

Treat them to some new uniform

Grab the uniform checklist from the school and treat them to everything they could need. Let them pick items that they’ll feel confident and comfortable in; take them shopping with you for trousers and school skirts from George at ASDA and allow them to choose to shoes that they love. Secondary school is a great time to show off some individuality, right down to the backpack, folders and stationery that they choose. Let them go wild…within reason.

listeningListen to them

Don’t ignore their worries and concerns, and don’t shrug them off either. Listen to them and try your best to resolve their issues. Emphasise that everyone will be in a similar situation – it’s not just them that will have to face all those new people and make new friends. Everyone will be doing the same thing.

Set a routine for homework

It may not be the most fun thing that they can do when they get home from school, but the sooner it gets done, the more of the weekend they can enjoy. Encourage good homework habits early on so that they know what to expect as revision and projects approach.

Help them

It can help to be attentive and to listen to them once they’re at school, too. Make time each day to listen to them, and show an interest in what they’re doing at school. Let them know that they’re not alone and that you will help them as and when they need it. Perhaps you could proofread essays and homework, give them a hand with taxing projects or help them to revise when the exam period draws near. A supportive home life will help to keep them in the right frame of mind throughout their time at school.

Secondary school can be daunting for youngsters (and you!) but if you provide plenty of support and instil confidence into your kids in the run up to September, the move should be a smooth one.

Creating Childhood Memories in London

Things to do with kids in London

In association with Direct Rail

‘We recently took the girls into London and had a fabulously random day! ‘

Taking children to London can provide then with memories that will last well into adulthood. For children, central London can seem like a giant playground. Everything looks like it’s on a much large scale, from the lions in Trafalgar Square to just the sheer size of the buildings towering overhead.

Things to do with kids in London

Whereas other cities have their own unique charm, no other UK city can compare to London in terms of scale, history and the ability to create lasting memories.

We love the Natural History Museum!

London also has a lot for children to do, so much so that you could spend an entire week there and still find new things to keep your little ones entertained. Child-friendly museums abound in the city, which is a fantastic way of making learning so fun that children won’t even realise they’re having an educational day out.

Dinosaur Exhibit at Natural History Museym

The Natural History Museum is a must for children of all ages. Seeing the life size model of the Blue Whale will be a memory that will stay with them for a long time, while kids love seeing the roaring T-Rex. Another popular destination is the British Museum where encountering real life mummies will satisfy most children’s fascination for the macabre. While the child friendly, HMS Belfast offers a unique and fun day out.

Travelling around London with Kids

Even just a simple trip on the Underground will often seem like an adventure for children. The old tunnels will capture their young imaginations, while the novelty of travelling underground provides an extra thrill. It is also a great opportunity to tell them stories about the history of the city and how Londoners would shelter in the dark tunnels during the Blitz.

Tower of London

Children love stories and London’s thousands of years of history provide lots of stories to tell. You can bring some of these to life by visiting places like the London Dungeon and the Tower of London; they will also help to capture children’s ghoulish imaginations.

Sometimes by sheer chance and luck you’ll be in the city on the day of a big occasion or ceremony, but even if this isn’t the case London has a lot of daily traditions that are great to watch. Perhaps the most famous of these is the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, although you will probably have to navigate through tourist crowds for a view.

Memories will also be created at London’s theatre district. Musicals are a great way of introducing older children to the theatre, while if you want to start them even earlier look out for productions inspired by much loved children’s books. Introducing children to the theatre at an early age not only provides them with a special treat, but also means that when they are older a night out at the theatre won’t seem as intimidating.

Street Performers in Covent Garden

Children also delight in seeing street performances, so if you get a chance head to Convent Garden, again this is a great way of introducing them to art and culture while also providing them with childhood memories that will stay with them for years to come.

Written by Derin Clark, a writer, editor and blogger


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Bonjour. Où Est Le Camping?

In association with Look Insurance

Caravanning in France?  Here are some useful phrases

Hello. Where is the caravan site?  That is quite possibly the most important question you could end up asking if you’re heading off to France with your caravan.

As we are all too familiar with in Blighty, the weather isn’t always the greatest, persuading many caravanners to venture further afield. France has a long established reputation amongst the caravan fraternity and is visited by many each year.

But, like with any other country, there are plenty of things to consider when taking the caravan to France.   And knowing your s’il vous plaît and merci and a few other bits can get you a long way. The team at LOOK Insurance have researched some of the key information and phrases which all caravanners should know before taking their caravan to France.

Things you might need and need to know

We have given this sub section the above title as it seems like there is equal weight in knowing things and having the right things.

Travelling through France requires you to adhere to a number of regulations. You will need to know your caravan’s weight (MGPLW) and make a note of it. There are restrictions based on your caravan’s weight. Rather than go into all these, so long as its base weight (without all extras inside) isn’t more than 3.5 tonnes a UK driving licence is fine. Anything more and you might need documentation (see Permis E96 and EB).

As for speed, you are restricted to 90 kmph (56mph) on French A roads with a caravan. However, just be mindful that if you’re on a road with a lower max speed limit than that, you won’t be able to reach this maximum speed with a caravan.

As for bits of equipment, you know the essentials for a caravan holiday but when travelling to France you have to have a high visibility vest and warning triangle. It is also recommended you have daytime lights. Plus, whilst the threat of a fine has been indefinitely rescinded, you have to carry a NF approved breathalyzer.

Some helpful phrases

Yes, the French are very good at speaking English and we can all point and gesture but by trying to ask them a few questions in their own language, it might score approval amongst some. So we have dug out what we think will be common and useful phrases to help you on your way:

How much does this cost? C’est combien s’il vous plaît?

What time do you open/close? A quelle heure ouvrez-vous / fermez-vous?

Where is the post office? – Où est la poste?

Where is tourist information? – Où est le point d’information touristique?

Where is the railway station? – Où est la gare?

I have a reservation – J’ai fait une reservation

Where are the toilets? – Où sont les toilettes?

How far to town? – Jusqu’à quel point de la ville

Where can I buy gas? – Où puis-je acheter du gaz?

How much does it cost to stay here? – Combien ça coûte de rester ici?

How much is it for electricity? – Combien coûte l’électricité?

So, now you’re equipped for a caravan adventure in France, with a few essentials taken care of.



Full disclosure policy can be found here.

Preparing the kids for the new school year

The Back to School Routine

In association with SuperSavvyMe

With summer nearing its end, it’s time to start thinking about the new school year. The back to school transition can be a daunting one at times, and whether you are dreading the little ones going back or can’t wait for them to leave, there’s a lot to be done.

It’s important to remember that it’s going to take a little time for both you and the children to get used to a more regimented way of life. Instead of rising as and when desired, the kids must now be dressed and out the door before nine!

This often means you are to rise at least an hour earlier than them – packed lunches won’t prepare themselves, gym kits won’t magically jump from the fresh laundry pile and into a bag and unfortunately, shirts don’t seem to come crease-free.

Children that are moving from junior into senior school and also those that intend to begin the New Year at an entirely different school are the ones that will have the biggest adjustments to contend with. It’s important to take a few parenting tips on board at this point and ease them into transition  the best way you can.

Making sure that they are fully prepared for the new school year is one important tip to follow. If the uniform is slightly different to that of last year’s, it’s wise to buy into a new school ensemble in advance.

On this note, if the uniform is the same, it’s a good idea to check that it still fits your child before the end of the summer. Kids grow surprisingly fast and trousers which are too short, tight skirts and close-fitting shirts are not a good look for anyone.

Once you have the school uniform in order, it’s time to move onto the gym kit. Many schools will ask you to adhere to a certain style or colour when it comes to sports clothes.

Some schools will offer their own brand of kit which will often feature the school’s own logo. Others will ask that you stick to blue, black or maroon shorts and a white t-shirt. Regardless of how much your little ones love their super snazzy trainers, wearing vivid-hued gym shoes to school is not acceptable.

Stationery is another important factor to consider. The likes of a new school planner, pens, pencils, maths equipment and exercise books are all necessary tools to have. It may be wise to create an area in the study at home dedicated solely to your child. This will allow them to organise projects into completed work and work yet to complete so that it is easier for them to manage.