Easter in Italy is a very special holiday as this country is the heart of the Catholic religion. Easter celebration in Italy is almost as big as Christmas celebration.
Italians love Easter holiday and take the time to prepare for it. Before Easter all Italians do general cleaning of their homes, shop for chocolate eggs of all sizes and for other traditional Italian Easter food.
The week before Easter is called Settimana Santa in Italian. Easter celebrations in Italy start from Good Friday - Il Venerdi Santo.
In Rome, on Good Friday you can watch a solemn procession from the Colosseum to the Palatine Hill. On Christ Sunday the Pope blesses people personally and wishes them happy Easter holiday on the large St. Peter's Square in front of the famous St. Peter's Cathedral.
What date is Easter 2013?
Date of Easter 2013 in Catholic religion is - March 31.
Easter Monday in 2013 will fall on April 1.
Talking about ancient Italian Easter traditions, it used to be the Easter Italian custom to spread fire from home to home with a torch kindled in a church just before the holiday. This Easter tradition in Italy is not in use anymore.
However, still remain important the Easter religious processions on the Good Friday (sometimes Saturday) when the participants carry the large church cross though the streets. These religious Easter processions are held in many Italian towns and cities. The participants are dressed in traditional clothes and maintain full silence as a sign of respect for Jesus Christ.
Good Friday solemn processions for Easter in Italy
People for Easter in Italy give each other chocolate eggs, sometimes with a surprise inside. Italian shops and stores are always full of various Easter presents ideas, usually made of chocolate.
Cathedrals in Italy are decorated with flowers, palm-tree and olive brunches. Religious processions also use these brunches. Before the holiday liturgy Cathedrals bless palm and olives brunches brought by people. By Easter traditions in Italy these brunches are used for blessing the Easther family meal and are kept in the house during the year as a symbol of peace.
Many Italians leave the city for a few days with family and friends, go to the mountains or to the sea.
Italian Easter starts with the Easter breakfast for the whole family. Italian Easter breakfast usually includes different sliced sausage and ham, colored boiled eggs and frittata - eggs fried on both sides.
After that comes Colomba which is a traditional Italian Easter food (pie) similar to the Christmas Panettone but with more lemon flavour. Italian Easter Colomba is often covered with almond glaze and almonds and has a shape of a dove.
Classic traditional Italy Easter dinner usually includes young roasted lamb or goat with potatoes, fried artichokes and a salad with sweet pepper, tomatoes and olives. Some Italian families prefer a delicious Italian lasagna on their Easter table.
For dessert different pies and cakes are traditionally served. Colomba, Crostata (a sweet pie with jam or cheese) or Focaccia pasquale are also Italian Easter desserts.
Generally, each region of Italy has some of their own Easter food traditions .
Delicious Italian Easter Colomba Cakes
Easter Monday in Italy (il Lunedi dell'Angelo) is called Pasquetta. Italians say to each other "Buona Pasquetta!" on Monday after Easter.
On sunny weather Italians get out of their homes for a picnic, barbecue or just for a walk with family and friends.
On Monday many cities and towns hold Easter celebrations in Italy with concerts, shows and games.
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With many thanks for graphics to Luciomusacchio
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