All around the world, Easter is a time for celebrating the arrival of spring and a time of renewal and gratitude. In many cultures, people often make bread and sweets, like in Germany and Finland. In other countries, it’s popular to eat lamb, ham, or even seafood. No matter the country, locals celebrate by gathering at the table to indulge in unique Easter dishes. Discover the foods that families and friends join together to eat for Easter Sunday all over the world!
1. Austria 🇦🇹
In places like Austria, Switzerland, and southern Germany, it’s traditional to make a braided bread either in the shape of a loaf or wreath (Hefekranz). It is golden brown from butter, eggs, sugar, fruits, nuts, and spices. Easter brunch is often enjoyed with another sweet bread (Osterpinze), along with jelly-filled donuts (krapfen), cold cuts, colored eggs, and horseradish.
2. Phillippines 🇵🇭
Easter Sunday in the Phillippines is often a rowdy feast. A whole pig is roasted over a fire pit and served at a large table with paella and fresh fish. Other common foods to be eaten are lumpias (fried spring rolls), puto (steamed rice cake), and sweet glutinous rice pudding.
3. Italy 🇮🇹
Lamb pie is very popular in Sicily for Easter celebrations. Another Italian Easter dish is capretto (baby goat), which is a symbol of peace in the country, which is then cooked either “in bianco” (in white wine) or “gratinato” (coated in breadcrumbs). Wine is enjoyed throughout the Easter meal, which is then ends on a sweet note with fresh fruits and Easter bread.
4. Great Britain 🇬🇧
Hot cross buns are sweet spiced rolls of dough and traditionally served on Easter in the U.K. They are marked with a cross to symbolize Jesus’s crucifixion. Other British foods for Easter are a proper Sunday roast, with lamb or chicken, and homemade chocolate Easter eggs. Simnel cake has been eaten on Easter Sunday since medieval times, which is a rich fruit cake topped with eleven marzipan balls to represent the eleven loyal apostles.
5. Eritrea 🇪🇷
For Easter and other holidays, coffee is the ceremonial drink in Eritrea in East Africa. Zighini is eaten on Easter and is a dish of lamb cooked with spiced ghee, tomatoes, onions, and berbere. Chicken is also served, and with exactly 12 pieces and 12 boiled eggs to signify the Apostles at the Last Supper.
6. Sweden 🇸🇪
A traditional Easter meal in Sweden consists of a lunch with fresh seafood, such as pickled herring and cured salmon (gravlox). Another dish is Jansson’s Temptation, which is potatoes, onions, and pickled anchovies that are baked into a cream dish. The table is often laid out in the style of a smörgåsbord, and julmust is sipped on – a soft drink that tastes like rootbeer made with sugar and spices.
7. Greece 🇬🇷
Magiritsa is a Greek Easter soup made with lamb shank and shoulder, spring vegetables, herbs, and long-grain rice. In Greece, It’s also common to boil eggs in red food coloring and vinegar. These eggs are a symbol of Jesus’s blood – and are then ready to be enjoyed with tsoureki (Easter bread) on Saturday.
8. Paraguay 🇵🇾
Traditionally associated with Easter, chipa is a cheese bread that has a dense, chewy texture similar to a bialy. It is made from yuca starch (known as mandioca), cheese, eggs, milk, and anise. It comes in a round shape with a hole in the middle. For Easter, beef is almost always on the menu in most of South America, as well as sausages and boiled cassava root. Aside from beer, yerba mate is also drank (tereré).
9. Germany 🇩🇪
Meaning Easter Lamb or Easter Bunny, Osterlamm and Osterhase are very traditional sweets for Easter in Germany. It’s a marble cake in the form of an animal. It’s also popular to eat plenty of fresh vegetables, meats like sausages and ham, as well as pancakes (Kaiserschmarrn) for Easter brunch.
10. Poland 🇵🇱
In Poland, eggs, sausages, hams, breads, and horseradish are all brought to church in baskets for Easter Sunday. There is also a biała kiełbasa – a feast of smoked meats and hams. Another special recipe in Poland is Easter soup: a white borsht made with horseradish, potatoes, and served with hard boiled eggs and sausage links.
11. Finland 🇫🇮
Pulla is a braided, cardamom-spiced bread and a common Easter treat in Finland. It can be baked as both a single braided loaf and individual little knots. Mämmi is also very popular in Finland for Easter. It is a dessert made with water and powdered malted rye, and then seasoned with dark molasses, salt, and orange zest. It is often served like a pudding and enjoyed with cream and sugar.