Easter Celebrations in Europe
Europe is an Old continent, home to multiple countries with their own ethnic cultures, and this is reflected largely in the common religious festival of Easter. Though the basic nature of the celebrations in reverence to Christ, His crucification, and His resurrection is common, the way of celebrating differs across the countries. While France decides to fry an omelette with 1500 eggs, Portugal takes put nocturnal parades. Spain carries huge, leafy palms or olives in their parades, while UK villages perform the Morris dance. Norway prefers to read crime stories, while Swedish kids dresses up as little witches. Just scroll down, and enjoy reading this diverse Easter celebration in Europe, in her different European countries.
Easter doesn’t have a fixed date, as it is celebrated in the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal or spring equinox. It will fall on a Sunday between March 25th and April 25th. Before Christianity, a similar, advent of Spring, pagan festival was also celebrated by the name of Eostre, signifying new life. Modern day Easter also celebrates new life represented by eggs, and end of winter. All the Easter symbols also represent Spring and New Life. Chances are, that these same symbols were associated with Jesus’s resurrection as well, which also represents new life. In many parts of Europe, huge bonfires are lighted on hilltops and in churchyards on Easter Eve. They are sometimes called Judas fires, because effigies of Judas Iscariot are frequently burned in them. The Easter bonfires predate Christianity and were originally intended to celebrate the arrival of spring. The burning effigy once symbolized winter.
Egg decoration time was common in pre historic times as well, however, only ostrich eggs were decorated. In the middle ages, the tradition shifted to poultry eggs. More on this can be found at the Easter egg museum at Kolomyia, Ukraine. The region is also famous for its treasure of the oldest found decorated eggs. Chocolate eggs or bunnies are much recent introduction, probably in the 19th century, that slowly has become to dominate Easter celebrations.
Easter Celebrations in the United Kingdom or Great Britain
The mood is of fun frolic. Chocolate Easter eggs dominate every platter, along with egg treasure hunts in the outdoors ( patios, gardens or parks) and egg rolling races, where kids roll down their hard boiled eggs on a slope, and whoever’s egg touches the bottom first, is the winner. Adults in the North Eastern side of England play egg jarping, a game where two hard boiled eggs are tapped against one another. Whoever’s egg survives the impact, wins.
The simmel cake also dominates the cuisines of the Britons. It is a mild fruit cake, but is decorated carefully with eleven or twelve marzipan balls, which represents the twelve apostles, except Judas, for obvious reasons.
Hot-cross buns are also popular on Good Friday. These are sweet fruit buns with crosses on top. Some people still make these with yeast, but shops now sell dozens in the week before Easter.
Performing the Morris Dance takes the limelight in the UK villages, and turns out to be really spectacular, as it requires complex choreography and immaculate dressing in white suits, sticks and belts. It is done to celebrate the end of winter and advent of Spring and new life.
The Royal Maundy is a tradition still followed religiously where the Queen, or a royal office representing the British monarch, hands out token money to the elderly, who have been in good service to the society, honouring their contribution. You can find out more about Maundy money and Royal Mundy at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Maundy. It is carried out on the Thursday before Good Friday.
The custom of giving gifts is very common in the Easter period in the UK. Gift range may vary from anything between money, clothes, chocolate or go on holidays together. Some people make Easter bonnets or baskets, which have things like daffodils in them or have mini eggs. Children sometimes go to a local community centre to enter an Easter bonnet competition to see whose bonnet is the best and the winner gets an Easter egg. You can check out our Easter gifts section here, where Easter gifts can be personalized for the receiver. The Easter bunny is very much a part of the Easter tradition in England. The shops are filled with thousands which people buy to give to each other. The Easter bunny 'hides' the eggs in the houses and children on Easter Sunday search to find these treats.
You can now send a letter to children, coming directly from the Easter bunny, much like Santa Claus. Takes minutes to build and print/send. Click here to check it out! Personalized Bunny Letters for Kids!!
Best English Morris Folk Dance
Easter Celebration in Ireland
Some customs are similar to England, like egg rolling races, where kids roll down their hard boiled eggs on a slope, only that here entire families get ready before dawn and climb up to hill tops, from where they do this race, and is generally participated by everyone. Enjoying the sunrise is an added boon.
Citizens also take this moment to discard the old and welcome the new. They perform haircuts, nail trips etc, and also clean up their houses, cleaning all dirt, dust and throwing away all useless household belongings. The houses are then blessed by a local priest. This tradition dates back to hundreds of years. New clothes are worn for the Easter mass, which is a very important event of the Easter celebration.
The story of Easter in Ireland
Easter Celebration in Germany
The German call it Óstern, possibly by the name of the Anglo Saxon goddess of spring, Eostre. School children have about three weeks holiday at Easter. No one works on Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday.
The real German fun is the Easter fire wheel run, performed in the night before Easter. When the rest of the world is content with a stationary, standard fire, Germans stuff a lot of hay or straw on a large wooden wheel, light it up, and then roll it down the slope of a hill. Fiery spectacular! As we would call it!
Note that by custom, dances are not allowed on Good Friday. However, no one has ever gone to check whether it is followed.
Germans generally eat a lot of leafy greens on Maundy Thursday, which includes the famous green sauce of Frankfurt. This is because Maundy Thursday is called Gründonnerstag in German, and grün, which means green, is an integral part of the word. Different regions of this great country has different green dishes for the day, like the Grüner Kuchen (“green cake”), a savory leek yeasted cake from Hesse.
Many people eat fish on Good Friday and on Easter Saturday evening there is often a big Easter bonfire. This is very popular and lots of people gather to watch. These Easter fires are burnt as a symbol to the end of the winter and any bad feelings.
On Easter Sunday families have nice breakfasts together. Parents then hide Easter baskets with sweets, eggs and small presents. Hand-painted eggs decorated with traditional designs are exchanged among friends. Earlier, it was customary in many regions for the village girls to present their suitors with a red egg.
Wheels of fire blaze trail down hill in 2000-year-old pagan festival
Easter Celebration in Italy
Italians call it La Pasqua.
The Easter is celebrated with a real big feast in this Mediterranean country. The Paschal feast is celebrated with Agnellino, Italy's special popular dish for the Easter. This is a roasted baby lamb. Children enjoy rich bread made especially for the Easter. It is shaped like a crown and studded with coloured Easter egg candies. The pizza sbattuta ( we are in Italy, of course!), sponge cakes, ham and coralline, hard boiled eggs, Easter salamis, variety of salty cakes also abound the preferred menus. Colomba, an Easter dessert made with almonds, egg white and sugar, in the shape of a dove, is a popular dish in Lombardia, but has gradually found its way to the rest of Italy.
Vatican being at the center of Rome, and it being the abode of the Chief of the Christian belief system, Easter celebration reach unprecedented heights every year in Italy. Every city of Italy, be it Florence, Milan or Rome, engages in worship, fun and merriment. A large number of Christians also travel to the Vatican, to mark the special occasion. The Pope’s mass is at 5pm at Saint Peter’s Basilica, and thousands gather to attend the same.
Florence likes to literally celebrate with a bang, with the Scoppio del Carro, meaning explosion of the cart. A large and well decorated cart is dragged through the major streets of Florence. It is dragged by white oxen of the best breed. The journey ends at the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, where the Archbishop holds a mass. After the mass, the archbishop send a rocket, which is dove shaped, into the cart. The cart, as you might have guessed by now, is filled with fireworks, and it goes out into a fantastic explosion immediately, coupled with fantastic fireworks, in the evening sky. Traditional Easter food follows after the grand celebration.
Scoppio Del Carro
Easter Celebration in France
The French call it Pâques.
The main celebration sets off on Good Friday with a solemn note. Church bells do not ring for three days starting from Good Friday till the Easter Sunday. This is a token of mourning for the crucified Christ.
Early on Easter morning the children rush into the garden to watch the bells "Fly back from Rome". As the small folk scan the sky for a glimpse of the returning bells their elders hide chocolate eggs.
As in other Christian countries, the shops, markets and the bakeries all gets decorated in the Easter theme, with chocolate eggs and chocolate rabbits, bells and chickens. However, what is unique to France is that even fish, also finds a place in the decorations in a big way. This is probably because April fool’s day is called April’s fish, in France.
The Easter bunny is slowly getting popularity in France, but it has a long way to go to catch up with the traditional cloches de Pâques, or “flying bells” custom, which is entrusted to bring gifts to the children. The custom says that all church bells fly to the Vatican on Good Friday to get blessed by the Pope. On their way back, they bring goodies and chocolates, for the good and well behaved kids in the neighbourhood, much like Santa Claus.
There is another Easter tradition unique to France, in the town of Bessières, located in South West France. Here, 1500 fresh eggs are used to make a SINGLE omelette, and more than 10,000 people gather to witness this wonderful spectacle. Over 40 cooks, really long sticks and a 4 meter pan is used to cook this wonderful omelette.
Flying Bells! How France celebrates Easter
Easter Celebration in the Netherlands, or Holland
The Dutch call it Pasen or Pasen Zondag.
There is a wonderful tradition in the Netherlands, which we thought, would be great if other countries follow as well. The kids at a primary school of Netherlands, gets a special Easter Tiffin box made for breakfast (and of course, their parents make it for them), which they will give to a fellow classmate. This way, everyone gets a breakfast box made coming from the home of a classmate of theirs. The rule is, the box should be wonderfully decorated with Easter theme (so no shortcuts) and it should contain all the menu items for a delicious breakfast. What a wonderful gesture!
Throughout the country Easter is celebrated as a great spring holiday. People lay tables for Easter dinner with charming decoration of coloured eggs and early flowers. Sweet bread stuffed with raisins and currant, is one of the favourite dishes of the Easter feast. However, the Dutch gastronomy is generally a bit on the lower side.
It is a special day for Amsterdam as well, where the famous performance of St Matthew Passion happens at the Concertgebouw. People are of the opinion that if you cannot go there every year, then go for it at least once in your lifetime.
Another special, and very traditional activity for many is to travel to out of town, to a park selling furniture, which are known as woonboulevard. Typical of the Dutch!, as they would say.
How do the Netherlands Celebrate Easter Sunday
Easter Celebration in Sweden
The Swedes call it Påskdagen.
Throughout the country the egg, symbol of life and resurrection, is featured in all Easter food and Easter games. Every household has egg colouring parties. Egg rolling contests are the favourite Easter activity of younger boys and girls.
The platter is borrowed from Christmas and midsummer, comprising snaps, potatoes and herring. This constitutes most Easter suppers.
What is unique to Sweden and Swedish culture is celebration of the Maundy Thursday, or Skärtorsdag. It is believed that all witches fly off to a place called blåkulla, to celebrate the occasion with the devil. Swedes light up Easter fire to scare off the witches on their way to blåkulla, or while they come back from blåkulla. Kids have a gala time, as they dress up as witches (påskkärringar), to collect candies and chocolates from households, much like Halloween.
Sweden has also gained international fame for decorative of birch twigs, which are found on streets and houses at this time. They are decorated with coloured feathers and other decorative items and are a reminder of Christ’s sufferings for mankind. They are also placed in vases, inside homes. This tradition is unique to Sweden.
Palm Sunday is observed with palm fronds. The Easter Eve is celebrated with bonfires. Shooting of fireworks lives on as the tradition.
Easter Tradition in Sweden
Easter Celebration in Finland
The celebration of Easter in Finland is low key, and does not match the fervour of Christmas, or of Easter celebration of other countries of Europe.
Like in Sweden, here too, children dress up as ghosts and witches, using oversized, old, shirts and robes, some scary face painting with freckles and rosy cheeks, crepe paper and feather decorated birch twigs. This tradition has it roots in the belief that witches and evil spirits have a field day on the Saturday before Easter, roaming around the city. Traditional bonfires are also held.
Mämmi, or Memma is the traditional Finnish dish, prepared at this time. It is a wonderful cocktail of powdered malted rye seasoned with dark molasses, rye flour, dried powdered Seville orange zest, salt as per taste and water as per need. It is a very old dish, traceable as far back as the 16th century. However, some scholars are of the belief that it originated from the Persian Empire or from medieval Germany. We are of the opinion that it tastes great!
Easter in Finland
Easter Celebration in Denmark
When it comes to Easter feasts food and drinks, no one does it better than the Danes.
Easter lunches exuberates lavishness in Denmark, and platters are filled with aromatic herring, salmon, eggs and lamb. It is also coupled with schnapps and brew. Very meaty affair which also goes fishy. And the best part is, Denmark also has its own Easter beer, brewed by Tuborg®. It was first brewed over a 100 years ago, and falls in the must-to-try list, if you are in the region at the time.
There is another tradition unique to Denmark. They send anonymous letters, more of teasers, with a riddle, so that the receiver can guess the senders name. It is typically signed with dots, with the number of dots being the same as the sender’s name. If the receiver successfully guesses the name, he gets a chocolate egg from the receiver. If he cannot, then the sender’s name is revealed, and the receiver has to give a chocolate egg to the sender. The letter is generally decorated with vintergækker (snow drops) at the edges.
Easter in Denmark
Easter Celebration in Norway
When rest of the world concentrates primarily on the decoration and activities for Easter celebration, Norway is almost obsessed with Crime stories (Påskekrim), that are published at this time and make the headlines. Reading these books comes natural to Norwegians, almost as natural as eating eggs and chicken at this time. This, dos not however, mean they go low key on the gastronomical pleasures, for, right after finishing the crime stories/novel, Easter is celebrated with friends and family with large family lunches and dinners. The modern cuisines make way for the traditional dishes, which comprises boiled vegetables and potato, combined with lamb meat, mostly in the steak form. Easter beer never forgets to accompany the main course, so that food is washed down easily.
There is a traditional outdoor activity too. Norwegians make mountain trips in groups to enjoy the fresh sunshine and chill, and to ski. A chocolate bar, which contains layers of chocolate over a crispy wafer, has reached unmatched popularity, and is consumed in huge numbers at this time. It is also known as Kvikk Lunsj. Oranges, which is the fresh produce of the season, are also consumed.
Easter Traditions in Norway
Easter Celebration in Belgium
Apart from regular Easter celebration of visiting church masses, having lavish family meals, and frolic, Belgium also takes pride in the Easter parade held at the city of Cavalcade de Herve in Wallonia. The event alone attracts over 50,000 visitors on the day. Cavalcade de Herve is also famous for its cheese.
Another major Easter activity for Belgians is to visit the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken. The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken are premium, for they are open to the public for just three weeks every year, which includes Easter Monday as well.
Belgians too, like the people of France, believe that church bells develop wings and fly to the Vatican to be blessed, and brings back eggs and chocolate when they return. However, the time of disappearance varies between the Walloon people and the Flemish. In Wallonia, it is believed that the bells fly to Rome on Thursday, while the Flemish believes that they leave the night before Easter. They agree however, on the day of returning, which is Easter.
Belgian Easter celebration
Easter Celebration in Iceland
Easter is taken very seriously in Iceland, and in good religious fervour. While church masses are given their due importance and attendance, fun and frolic are strictly prohibited in Iceland at this time. Thus all clubs are closed, there are no parties, no card games, gambling or even lotteries.
The common Easter activities, like Easter egg decoration, decorations of home are practiced. The Icelandic Easter eggs are special though, not found elsewhere. They are filled with best quality chocolate and also carry a proverb, much like fortune cookies.
The most common outdoor activity is skiing. It is common for Icelanders to travel great distance across the country, just to find that perfect slope for skiing.The ‘Easter Leg’ forms the Easter dinner. It comprises of a whole lamb leg, well roasted in low flame over a period of time, accompanied with sugar glazed potatoes and honey.
Iceland Easter Traditions
Easter Celebration in Spain
The Spanish call it Semana Santa.
Easter is considered one of the most important festival in Span, and it is marked with Parades, decorations, feasts and gifts. Spain has a rich legacy of heritage and culture, and it is well depicted in their Easter parades. Easter is a week long celebration in Spain, celebrated across the length and breadth of the country. People are seen to be carrying leafy palm or olive branches, large in size, as a mark of the celebration.
People generally wear the Nazareno, the penitential robe in the processions, the parade of Zamora being an exception. This dress comprises a hood/cap with a conical tip, which can be used to cover the face of the person who wears it. It also has a tunic, and sometimes a cloak as well. This was the dress code for medieval time penitents, who could show their penance, even while keeping their faces covered. The people wearing this can carry wooden crosses, candles, and may even walk barefoot and wear shackles or chains on their feet.
Places of interest in the Easter period:
Seville has one of the grandest Easter parades. The custom is centuries old. The parade is known as Semana Santa de Sevilla. They feature Pasos, which are lifelike wooden sculptures, painted, and depicting the different moments of the life of Jesus Christ. Quite a few of these sculptures would carry great antique value as well, being done by masters of art.
Valladolid is considered as a Fiesta of International Tourist Interest of Spain since 1981, and for good reasons. The glory of Castilian religious sculpture is in full display at the good Friday parade. Poetic proclamations are made by members of brotherhood on horsebacks, throughout the day. Plaza Mayor Square sees the recital of Sermon of the Seven Words. The passion parade, hosted in the afternoon, comprises 31 religious statues or pasos carved in the 16th and 17th centuries by various famous artists, is participated by thousands of people. The most emotional and high point of the procession is the return of the last statue to the church, the Virgen de las Angustias, on whose honour the Salve Popular is sung.
Salamanca also prides itself on hosting one of the oldest Easter celebrations in the country. The traditions are continuing since the year 1240 ! The city itself on UNESCO world heritage site, and provides for the best background to the parades. The artworks (images and pasos) are created by Spanish masters of art like Luis Salvador Carmona or Mariano Benlliure. The processions are also associated with the University of Salamanca, the oldest institution of this nature in Spain. All these makes the celebrations unique and beautiful in Salamanca.
The oldest Easter celebrations in Spian is credit to the ones in Zamora. Penance parades for Easter can be traced to as early as 1179 ! The Holy Easter week observance is taken care of by 16 fraternities and sisterhoods, who perform 17 penance parades in Zamora streets. The parades are attended by thousands comprising locals as well as tourists. More than 300,000 people are in Zamora at the holy week, which is over 5 times its inherent population.
Zamora has the oldest celebrations in Spain. The earliest penance processions can be traced back to 1179. Holy Week in Zamora is celebrated by 16 sisterhoods and fraternities that perform 17 penance processions on the streets of the old city. Thousands of penitents walk the streets while the processions are attended by a crowd of locals and visitors. Zamora increases its population 5 times, up to 300.000 people during the festival. Effort is given to bring back the medieval ambience, and the brotherhoods use monk robes instead of the popular Nazareno hats. Candles are shunned in favour of torch fires, and male choirs are preferred instead of bands.
León is also a famous place when it comes to Easter celebration in Spain, with more than 15,000 penitents hitting the streets in Easter parades. Parades commence on Viernes de Dolores" (the Friday in the week before Holy Week) are taken out every day until Easter Sunday. The procession of the meeting, is the most famous parades of this time, which is also known as Procesion de los Pasos", also known as the "Procesion del Encuentro". It is a long, 9 hour procession, where about 4,000 penitents carry 13 pasos (statues) in the streets of León. The most emotional point of the procession is El Encuentro (The Meeting). It is when the idol representing St. John and the idol representing La Dolorosa face each other and the penitents move in a fashion such that the two figurines are in a dancing trance. Semana Santa in Leon has become a Fiesta of International Tourist Interest of Spain since 2002.
Granada and Málaga are two more places of Spain where Easter processions are taken out and feature in prominent lists of tourist attractions. The celebrations at Málaga are different from rest of the country as they accompany high voltage happiness, spontaneous saetas (flamenco verses sung at the processions), fun, frolic and applause as the figurines, carvings or paintings pass by.
Holy Week SEVILLE, Easter SPAIN [SEMANA SANTA]
Easter Celebration in Portugal
Easter is greeted with fun, food, prayers, and family in Portugal.
It is a public holiday, so all business establishments are closed, and it is a practice to have the Easter Sunday with family, savouring roasted lamb for Lunch. The dish is called Cabrito , with roasted chestnuts to go with it.
Kids savour chocolate eggs and different kinds of almonds.
Easter Monday, though not a public holiday, is converted into one, as most people take day off.
Folar is the traditional bread, which is consumed in this season. It is similar to a large loaf of bread, but tastes way better and looks better as well. It is made with specially prepared flour, and is stuffed with sausages of every kind. Some also top it up with an egg in the middle, representing resurrection. Meat is abstained on Good Friday and also on Holy Saturday by most, and meat is replaced by codfish on those days.
A beautiful tradition of Portugal is reserved for godchildren and godparents, when the former offer an olive branch, chocolates, Easter almonds and flowers, to the latter, as a token of appreciation.
Parades and processions also have their fair share in Portugal, as it is a festival of deep Christian significance. Braga is the place to visit for processions, where there are several night time or nocturnal parades as well, the most famous of them being the Senhor da Cana Verde, meaning the Lord of the Green Cane..
Easter in Portugal
Easter Celebraiton in Switzerland
Switzerland, the land of arguably the best chocolates in the world, has more activities in Easter tradition, than just chocolate eggs.
The spirit of Easter celebration in Switzerland is the same as in the rest of Europe, but, what is unique about Switzerland is that each of its cantons (regions) has a different Easter tradition activity to its credit.
For example, in Zurich, a very popular game called Zwanzgerle is organized on Easter Monday. Children carry decorated eggs which adults attempt to break with a 20 cent coin. If the egg is broken, the adult gets to keep it, if not, then the child gets to keep the coin. It so happens that generally, kids happen to earn quite a few 20 cent coins, as it turns out to be difficult to break an egg with a twenty cent coin.
Happy Easter In Switzerland
Eiertutschen, or smashing of eggs, are popular across Switzerland, and it is also followed in parts of Europe. It is the age-old game of breaking one’s easter egg with his own. Whoever’s egg manages to survive the crash, wins. Cities like Bern, the Swiss capital, see this event being organized on a large scale, with hundreds participating with zest. Both the Eiertutschen and Zwanzgerle are a lot of fun to watch.
Easter is a time to unite and spend time with friends and family in Switzerland, and the mood is built over an entire week, when homes, malls and parks are decorated. Being Switzerland, chocolates take the prime seat, and you will find special easter egg chocolates, Easter bunny chocolates, and special Easter chocolate hampers. The most believed Swiss tradition is that the cuckoo brings all the easter eggs, and this is reflected in all outdoor and park decorations. Easter baskets are very very common as well, containing the easter hampers. The baskets, the cuckoo bird and the eggs are the central theme of all easter decorations in Switzerland. They also signify spring and new life.
Easter Sunday morning is the time for all Swiss kids to participate in egg hunt (treasure hunt) competitions. Each kid will have a basket, on which they gather their treasures, namely colourful, well decorated eggs. Children with the maximum number of eggs win, and are awarded prizes like marzipan rabbits, chocolate rabbits, sugar eggs, small gifts and assorted chocolates. Nougat eggs, jelly eggs and Osterchuechli (a Swiss treat made of rice or semolina) also make it to the platter of the winner's gifts.
The hinterlands of Switzerland engage in a simple gift giving ceremony, which consists of giving gifts like fresh bread, cheese and wine, to strengthen their bond, and to engage in merrymaking together. It is also the time to wear traditional clothes.
The Easter tree, or Osterbaumli, is a common decoration found in all Swiss homes. It is more of a flower vase, only that you have sprigs cut off from a tree or plant, and then the place is decorated with easter goodies like chocolate cuckoo birds, rabbits and eggs.
It helps create a love festive corner at the home, much like a Christmas tree, and gets everyone in the mood for celebration and reverence.
Special Egg painting
As in other parts of the world, Easter egg colouring and painting is one of the major activities in every household, and all bright colours are generously used. However, what is unique to Switzerland is, there is a tradition of elaborately colouring eggs with onion skins of yellow and red colour. It’s an elaborate process, requiring vinegar and salt, some flowers and old pantyhose.
The March of weeping women
This is confined to the western part of Switzerland, where women walk solemnly through the streets, carrying cushions, crimson or red in colour. These cushions have symbols of crucifixion of Jesus Christ, like birch, whip, nails, crown of thorns and also a whip. It is carried out of Easter Friday, remembering Jesus’s sacrifice for mankind. The custom is called Les Pleureuses.
Time for fountain Decorations
In Nyon, beside the lake of Geneva, all the members of the community join hands and participate in the annual event of decorating all the fountains of the area. Local clubs, citizens, businesses and even school children participate with full vigour to decorate all the fountains, as a symbol to welcome new life. After the decorations are complete, competitions are taken out to tour all the fountains and win prizes for the same. It is a fun and nice event, and attracts a lot of visitors as well.
On the platter, apart from all the regular easter goodies, Chlefeli or Easter Zopf bread, always finds a place, no matter in which part of the country you are.