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Czech Republic -- Green Thursday

With Holy Thursday commemorating the Last Supper, Czechs and Moravians celebrate the day by eating greens, such as salads and spinach, all day long -- there's a way to get kids to eat their veg! Known as Green Thursday, from the German word grün, meaning green, it is also believed to be an adaption of the word greinen, which means "to weep."

Middle East - "Great Lent" fast

 If you find meat-free Fridays to be tricky, spare a thought for fellow Christians in the Middle East who not only give up meat for the entire period, but also go without dairy, fish, olive oil, eggs, and alcohol. This tradition comes from older fasting practices as well as the Eastern Orthodox church, which follows strict Lenten fasting, with only one meal a day on Mondays to Fridays.

Germany -- The Passion procession

Thousands flock to the small town of Bensheim in south-west Germany every year to watch a very elaborate procession on Good Friday representing Christ's last moments before His crucifixion. With an actor playing the role of Jesus, the procession is eerily accurate, right down to the nails in the hands -- don't worry, they are fake! Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Mexico -- La Samaritana

On the fourth Friday of Lent, Mexicans celebrate La Samaritana, where people will give water, ice cream and fruit to passersby, in homage to the Samaritan woman who gave Jesus water at the well.

British Isles -- Hot cross buns

Traditions behind the popular spiced sticky pastry with dried fruits vary. For Catholics, the bun should be made and eaten on Good Friday only, and it is full of religious symbolism. Topping the bun is a decorative cross that represents Christ's crucifixion, and the spices found inside are reminiscent of the spices used to embalm Christ. In the past the buns were also seen as a powerful remedy, and one would be kept aside and used throughout the year to heal the sick.

India -- Three-day celebrations

In India, the pre-Lenten festivities take up the three days before Ash Wednesday. There are huge celebrations with lots of eating, music, and dancing. The event brings whole communities together, with people of all religious denominations joining in. The festivities end with a Mass, and then Lent starts in earnest.
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