Ciao amici 🙂
Did you know Sicily is famous for its Easter (Pasqua) Celebrations? Having the Pope and the Vatican obviously makes Italy a central hub for Catholicism, and the most important event in the Catholic Religion is actually not Christmas, so we’re lead to believe, but the events surrounding Easter.
In my country, Easter is a time when a mythical individual known as the Easter Bunny comes at night and hides chocolate eggs for all the little boys and girls. Families get together, eat a lot and buy bouquets of flowers pretending that spring is coming when really we won’t actually see the sun until Victoria Day Weekend.
In Hungary, Easter isn’t too religious either. The country’s males spend the weekend getting drunk, seeking out and throwing water and perfume on Hungarian females so that they “grow”. Apparently it’s funny the first time, but after that you’re sticky and stinky all day. In my country they would embrace this strange tradition and brand it Scotia Bank’s “Grow Your Girl” Day and hand out branded bottles of perfume.
Not mine. Obviously.
Italia’s Pasqua is a bit different. Instead of overweight children scrambling for chocolate, each child gets a single giant egg [appropriately branded with their favorite cartoon character] with a little surprise inside. I totally want one. Then, everyone gets together for an Italian-sized lunch on Sunday. In particular, Sicilians – being blessed with their outrageously beautiful beaches and generally agreeable weather year-round – spend a heavenly Easter Monday (Pasquetta) country- or beach-side, relaxing and “barbecuing something” with friends. Un bel niente, indeed.
On Good Friday, there are extravagant processions in every city of Sicily, many topped with marching bands and fireworks. On Easter Sunday, the island awakes with joyful declarations of devotion and symbolism of good triumphing over evil.
There were lots of Easter celebrations, processions all over Sicily but unfortunately for curious me, they all happen on Good Friday (when I work) or on Sunday morning (when I’m preparing chocolate covered strawberries for lunch, obviously).
Instead, I managed to make it to the Easter Procession in Siracusa, which for obvious reasons hadn’t made any of the “top” lists on the internet. It wasn’t nearly the biggest or most remarkable, but still a sight to see. All the locals taking photos as if they’d never seen anything like it, the slow march of people carrying a crucified Jesus statue in a glass casket, followed by the weeping Madonna and cross.
After a seriously delicious lunch on Sunday with my absolutely lovely Sicilian family (I could never thank them enough for their hospitality. Maybe I can erect a monument – any ideas?), we headed to one of the most beautiful beaches in Sicily, Sampierei.
Probably my first and last Easter Monday spent on the beach getting a tan and drinking beers!
So, what are your country’s Easter traditions?