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Easter celebrations around the world
by Marcelo Caltabiano - Thursday, 2 April 2015, 9:53 AM

Easter celebrations around the world

Many Americans follow the tradition of coloring hard-boiled eggs and giving baskets of candy. The Easter Bunny is a popular legendary anthropomorphic Easter gift-giving character analogous to Santa Claus in American culture. On Easter Monday, the President of the United States holds an annual Easter egg roll on the White House lawn for young children. New York City holds an annual Easter parade on Easter Sunday.

In countries where Christianity is a state religion, or where the country has large Christian population, Easter is a public holiday. As Easter is always a Sunday, many countries in the world also have Easter Monday as a public holiday. In Canada, both Easter Sunday and Easter Monday are public holidays. In the province of Quebec, either Good Friday or Easter Monday are statutory holidays (although most companies give both). In some countries Good Fridayis a public holiday as well.

In Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, both Easter Sunday and Easter Monday are public holidays. It is a holiday for most workers except some shopping malls which keep open for a half-day. Many businesses give their employees almost a week off, called Easter break.

In the Netherlands both Easter Sunday and Easter Monday are public holidays. Like first and second Christmas Day they are both considered Sundays, which results in a first and a second Easter Sunday, after which the week continues to a Tuesday.

In the United States, Easter Sunday is a flag day but because Easter falls on a Sunday, which is already a non-working day for federal and state employees, it has not been designated as a federal or state holiday. Few banks that are normally open on regular Sundays are closed on Easter.

Some retail stores, shopping malls, and restaurants are closed on Easter Sunday, although this practice is declining. Good Friday, which occurs two days before Easter Sunday, is a holiday in 12 states (see the article for details). Even in states where Good Friday is not a holiday, many financial institutions, stock markets, and public schools are closed.