30 Mar EASTER TRADITIONS AND CELEBRATIONS IN ITALY
Italy is undoubtedly a religious country and Catholic rites play a very important role in the life of its people. Nor could it be different: Rome became the seat of the Catholic Church centuries ago. Easter in Italy is a time of great celebrations and the sacred, the profane and the folklore blend together. It is at this time that the Passion and Resurrection of Christ mixed with ancient pagan rites of the arrival of spring, celebrating life and abundance. This complex combination of cultural heritages and races gave birth to what we now know as Italy.
LA PASQUETTA – CELEBRATING EASTER MONDAY THE ITALIAN WAY
In Italy, Easter Monday is known as La Pasquetta, which is literally translated as Little Easter. After the solemn and reflective Easter season (Pasqua), it’s an informal community fete, enjoyed outdoors with family and friends.
Embraced with a joyful spirit, this national holiday sees families pack up the leftovers from the Easter feast into picnic baskets and head off to parks, beaches, vineyards and roadside meadows to enjoy the spring sunshine and warm breezes.
Also known as Lunedi dell ‘Angelo, or Monday of the Angels, it’s a day to remember the two Marys who, upon finding the sepulchre of Christ to be empty, were comforted by angels.
EASTER IN THE CAMPANIA REGION
Naples, a city at the foot of Mount Vesuvius in southern Italy, is also known for creating the well-known Pastiera di Grano. This cake based on wheat, ricotta, sugar and eggs, made following ancestral traditions, is mandatory in all Neapolitan houses and, according to the legends, was already savored at the pagan spring festivals.
The pastiera is through and through a part of the city of Naples, born out of springtime rituals. It’s now an Easter classic and no Neapolitan home would be complete on Easter day without this pastiera on the table.