Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Happy Easter! - why and how do we celebrate?

How do you celebrate Easter? Do you celebrate it at all? Either you do or you don't you will probably say and hear the word: "Happy Easter", many times a day these days. But why and how do we celebrate Easter?

This picture can be distributed following the conditions here: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:GNU_Free_Documentation_License?uselang=sv
In Italy Easter is the most important religious celebration of the year. The message is clear: Jesus has resurrected and, thus, there is hope for all of us! Even people that aren't Catholic get involved in the merry feeling.

The first Catholic celebration before Easter is the washing of the feet. The priests wash some people's feed in order to remember what Jesus did at the last Supper. In this photo we can see Pope Francis washing and kissing the feet at some guests at the rehabilitation center St. Mary of Providence, founded by Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation. "Jesus is God", said the Pope,and he became a servant, our servant. And this is the inheritance: we also ought to be servants of one another." Strong message  from Francis.

On Good Friday the Italians work as usual, as happens in many countries. In the evening many of them walk in the procession "Via Crucis", remembering Jesus sufferings and death. On Good Friday many Catholics do not eat anything and live the day in abstinence. Almost nobody eat meat.

On Easter day the habits change from region to region. In some villages the habit is to have 7 breakfasts with eggs, salami and bread. What is common in all regions is that everybody has a big lunch with a lot of courses. Jesus has resurrected! The churches are full of people and you can rarely find a seat unless you arrive early. The Italians then spend hours at the table, eating, drinking and talking. Complicated cakes that are never eaten during the year are put on the table, such as the Easter cake from Naples "La Pastiera". In the whole country people eat the famous Easter cake "Colomba" Easter Dove. The dove symbolizes peace, of course. All the Italian children receive a chocolate egg, with a surprise inside.

On Easter Monday most Italians go out in the parks for a big pic-nic. Friends and families meet together, play with balls, run around, grill meat, eat and drink.

Photo: https://www.flickr.com/people/15216811@N06
 Eggs symbolize birth as well as the Easter rabbit. The nature is being reborn and so can we. I wish you all a very happy Easter, wherever you are no matter how you are going to celebrate it!
Photo: http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anv%C3%A4ndare:Grotte?uselang=sv



  1. In Italy the religious sentiment that surrounds the Easter time is is the most sincere and profound than that of Christmas, now packed with components that distort the true meaning and it is so different than Sweden. I was born in a southern town of Italy called Taranto (Puglia) and the day of Good Friday there is a religious procession called the "Misteri", of Spanish origin. In fact it is a religious procession mate to that of Seville in Spain. The penitents, barefoot and hooded called "Perdoni", carry in procession the statues representing the Passion of Christ. The "Perdoni" proceed to a slow pace and undulating, almost hypnotic. Everything is very suggestive. In my birth town we have some Easter cakes. One of these is the "scarcella", tipically of Puglia and it has a shape of a wheel. It is made of short pastry, almond paste and plum jam. Within it there is a boiled egg with the shell.