In some European traditions, ratchets are used in celebrating Easter Day
A ratchet, also called a noisemaker (or, when used in Judaism, a gragger or grogger (etymologically from Yiddish: גראַגער) or ra'ashan (Hebrew: רעשן)), is an orchestral musical instrument played by percussionists. Operating on the principle of the ratchet device, a gearwheel and a stiff board is mounted on a handle, which rotates freely.
The player holds the handle and swings the whole mechanism around. The momentum makes the board click against the gearwheel, producing a clicking and rattling noise. A popular design consists of a thick wooden cog wheel attached to a handle and two wooden flanges that alternately hit the teeth of the cog when the handle turns. Alternatively, smaller ratchets are sometimes held still or mounted and the handle turned rapidly by the player.
The ratchet is similar to a football rattle, which is sometimes used in its place when a particularly loud sound is needed. It is used in, for example, Richard Strauss's piece Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks and Arnold Schoenberg's Gurre-Lieder. In the 18th and 19th centuries, British policemen used a similar device called a policeman's rattle to summon assistance. They also used the device during the Second World War, to warn of the presence of poison gas.
Use in Jewish tradition 
gragger, a kind of ratchet used in Judaism.
A plastic version of the gragger.
In Judaism, the gragger is used for the holiday of Purim. The gragger is used every time Haman's name is mentioned during the reading of the Megillah. Because Haman persecuted the Jews, the noise is supposed to drown out his name. The gragger was developed to help make noise during the reading.
See also 
- Derkach, a Ukrainian version of the ratchet.