Easter Celebration in Italy

Easter Celebration in Italy

Apr 11, 2022Ana Markovic

Easter is one of the most important festivities of the year. In addition to the religious significance, for many it is also an opportunity to celebrate the arrival of the warm season and outdoor activities. Folk festivals, country fairs, concerts, religious rites, and processions are just some of the events organized.

Easter celebrations begin with Holy Week, during which various rituals take place. Starting from Holy Thursday, which recalls the recurrence of the Last Supper and the Eucharistic celebration, to Good Friday, the day of the Way of the Cross, during which the villages' streets are illuminated with torches and are crossed by processions in which the process, the ordeal and death of Jesus are retraced.

On Saturday at midnight, the bells announce the Resurrection. Finally comes Sunday, Easter Day, when Lent, the long period of fasting, comes to an end, and the celebrations begin.

The Monday following Easter is called Pasquetta, which means “Little Easter”, and is dedicated to out-of-town trips, barbecues and parties with friends. 

Folk festivals and Country fairs

Italy is rich in Eastern traditions, and each region has its customs and festivals. Below we summarize 4:

  1. Florence: the most known celebration of Florence is the Scoppio del Carro (Explosion of the Cart). It takes this name because after mass, the archbishop sends a dove-shaped rocket into a fireworks-filled cart, creating a spectacular display. A parade of performers in medieval costumes follows. 
  2. Sulmona: one of the most heartfelt Easter celebrations is the one that takes place in this town in Abruzzo on Sunday. Sulmona celebrates the end of Holy Week with a special event called 'La Madonna che scappa' (The Madonna running away). On the morning of the celebrations, a statue of the Madonna covered by a black veil and placed on a sedan chair is revealed. From this moment, a quadrille starts running, carrying the Madonna through the town's streets, accompanied by the flight of 12 doves and the applause of the onlookers.
  3. Trapani: rooted in time is the Easter procession in Trapani, which is respected for about four hundred years. It is one of the most prolonged celebrations that start on Good Friday. The Procession of the Mysteries continues, in fact, for twenty-four hours until the Saturday before Easter, in which the wagons that bring scenes of the Passion follow each other along the streets of the Sicilian city, giving a scenic celebration that involves citizens and tourists.
  4. Bormio: the Pasquali represents the tradition of Bormio. These are small chairs on which are placed scenes of a religious character. These are carried around the city's streets, followed by women who take handicrafts and flowers. The inhabitants participate dressed in traditional costumes, while attentive judges evaluate the beauty of the Pasquali to elect a winner.

The Easter lunch in Italy

Homemade pasta, seasonal vegetables, savory pies, national cold cuts and cheeses, boiled eggs, and, of course, lamb: these are the foods that characterize Easter Sunday lunch. A day of celebration that most Italians prefer to spend with family or loved ones, around the table set with dishes and decorations that recall the colors of spring. 

And for dessert? Obviously, chocolate egg, loved by adults and children for its sweetness and the surprises it contains, and Colomba, the typical dove-shaped cake, perfect to end the Easter lunch. Today there are countless versions suitable for all tastes.

Add an Italian touch to your Easter Celebration! Check Easter treats on our Easter section!

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