Easter traditions from all over the world really run the gamut from conservative to flat out weird. But one in particular got my attention this Easter Sunday morning.

There's an Easter tradition about what we call in this country, a weather vane. In Europe, they call them weathercocks (since a rooster is often depicted) and when they're placed on church roofs, they're called church cocks.

In Sweden, tradition has it that the church cock had a symbolic duty to watch out over parish residents. There are some 600 of them found topping churches throughout Sweden where they've become cultural artifacts nationally and points of pride locally. And if you actually win the competition, it's a REALLY big deal:

"Church Cock Victory Joy ...It's huge and majestic", screams the headline.

A group called the "Society for the Promotion of Church Cocks" (In Swedish, if you insist, it's Kyrktuppsfrämjandet) was founded in 1979 as a way to draw attention to these quaint relics and in conjunction with a local magazine, they've been handing out an award every Easter for the past 29 years through what's become a popular national contest.

The weathercock on the Old Church in Alnö (article photo) was forged in 1746 and over the years --quote-- "has become a beloved symbol for many residents."

The parish vicar, Anna-Maria Larsson, tells the Swedish English paper, The Local,

"It's a lovely cock. We're fortunate to have such a nice symbol on top of our old church."

And the headline proudly announcing their victory ten-years ago today:

"Alnö's weathercock beat off stiff competition from four other finalists for the 2008 award."