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In Switzerland Onion Skins Are More Expensive Than Actual Onions

With Easter just around the corner, Christians around the world are stocking up on eggs and dyes for the traditional egg dyeing. But while most of us have grown used to chemical dyes, some still prefer the natural approach, like boiling white eggs with onion skins. This is apparently very popular in Switzerland, where people actually pay for bags of onion peels selected specifically for egg dyeing.

Dyeing Easter eggs with onion skins is not a Swiss tradition. In fact, I remember my mother used to do it when I was little, taking differed plant leaves, and placing them on the eggs before wrapping them in a large onion skin, putting them in a sock and boiling them in a pot of water with more skins thrown in for a more intense coloring effect. But she used orange skins saved up for weeks in advance, instead of buying them from the supermarket, like some Swiss do nowadays.

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The Rocket War of Chios – A Fiery Easter Celebration

We’ve seen a lot of bizarre traditions, but this is Greek custom involving two churches firing thousands of rockets at each other is pretty special. Every year on Easter Sunday, a fireworks war breaks out between two rival parishes on the small Greek island of Chios. Gangs belonging to two orthodox churches (Saint Mark and Panagia Erithiani) in the town of Vrodandos fire rockets with a single objective – to hit the other church’s bell. Of course, not all the rockets hit the target and locals can be spotted frantically running for cover.

The rocket tradition is of such importance that the townsfolk spend several months preparing for it. About 150 gang members are involved in the production of over 25,000 rockets that will be fired at the event. Derelict buildings are used to carry out the rocket-building work, with only one safety measure – they leave the doors open in case they need to make a speedy exit after an explosion. And they use bronze tools to prevent sparks that might ignite the volatile gun powder mixture.

“A good rocket has to fly fast, go far and stay lit until the end,” said rocket maker Vassilis Barkoulis. “You have to be careful in the details and process of its construction for a rocket to be good. If you do that carefully, you can have yourself a good rocket.” Good or not, producing rockets is actually illegal and there’s always the possibility the police raiding the premises. But it has never happened so far. The police prefer to entirely ignore the proceedings.

Chios-rocket-war

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Czech Confectioners Make World’s Largest Easter Bunny Cake

Four confectioners from the Czech Republic claim they’ve created the world’s largest Easter Bunny cake and hope to get a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

It’s not the cutest bunny I’ve seen this Easter but I’m sure it’s one of the most delicious. Confectioners at a cake-shop in Chomutov, the Czech Republic spent 48 hours preparing the sweet treat in time for Easter. Jarmilla Jonakova says they’ve used 770 eggs, 160 lbs of sponge cake, 120 lbs of cream, 44 lbs of jam, 40 lbs of marzipan to make the themed cake, then covered it all with a layer of chocolate. When it was finished, the big-eyed edible bunny weighed over 370 lbs and measured over 6 feet in length.

On Easter Day the chocolate bunny cake was sliced into pieces and handed over to people in the Czech town of Uherské Hradiště. Everybody loves cake, but some people were a little freaked out by the bunny’s appearance. “It might taste sweet, but you wouldn’t want to run into it in a dark alley” a customer of the cake-shop said. Freaky or not, this one-of-kind Easter cake is awaiting confirmation from the Guinness Book of Records, for the world’s largest Easter Bunny Cake.

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Eggshelland – A Colorful Easter Tradition Made of Eggshells

One of the world’s most impressive Easter traditions, Eggshelland features a number of colorful lawn mosaics made of Easter eggshells.

Every year, Ron and Betty Manolio, from Lyndhurst, Ohio, create a set of intricate eggshell mosaics right on their front lawn. It all started back in 1957, when Ron’s mother used 750 colored eggshells to make a cross on her lawn, and Ron and his wife carried on the tradition, coming up with different themes and complex mosaics each year after that.

First, the Manolios come up with a fresh theme, one that always includes the symbols of Easter – a fifty-foot cross and the Easter Bunny. Then Betty draws a plan of the display on a special piece of paper covered with a grid of small boxes, colors the pictures and they both count the number of eggs required and colors needed for the project. After they make sure they have all the necessary eggshells, they lay out the grid of the drawings on the lawn and start placing support sticks in the ground. Finally, the colored eggshells are placed over the sticks to create the actual mosaics.

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Christmas Has a Festive Tree, So Why Not Easter?

It makes sense doesn’t it? Easter is a major Christian holiday too, so it should have its own version of the popular Christmas Tree.

Strangely enough, such a thing as an Easter tree already exists, and it can be found in Germany. Around 1945, when he was just a young boy, Volker Kraft saw his very first Easter Tree (Eierbaum, Osterbaum or Ostereirbaum, in German), and decided he would have one of his very own, when he grew up. Time passed and young Volker became a married man, with a family and everything. But his childhood dream stuck with him and he decorated his first Easter Tree, in 1965. He used 18 colored plastic eggs.

But the tree was growing fast and he and his wife, Christa couldn’t afford to waste so many Easter eggs. So they began drilling holes into the eggs, using the contents in the kitchen, and the painted shells as decorations. When their children grew up, they started helping with the decorating,and the Easter Tree became a family tradition, known not only in their home town of Saalfeld, but all of Germany.

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