Everything about our Easter ancient Italian Traditions, Food, Symbols and more…
The Easter Italian name “Pasqua” is derived from the Hebrew Pesach (passage). It’s between the most important festivities for the Christian tradition because it recalls the resurrection of Christ. Like all Italian festivities, Easter is rich of traditions and specific rituals. The Christian Easter takes place over three days: Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday or called “Pasquetta” which literally means little Easter. From an ancient tradition on Good Friday and until Easter Sunday, in Italy the church bells do not ring as a sign of grief for the crucified Christ.
On Good Friday, still today there are numerous processions in which the statues of the crucified Jesus and Mary are carried on the shoulders or exposed in the main squares. Often they are part of a parade in costume. As a symbol of peace during these events, in churches and houses, palms or olive branches are collected and exposed. At the end of Lent, which traditionally represents forty days of fasting.
Easter Day is also a day of celebration and an excellent opportunity to enjoy good food, while on Easter Monday with the arrival of summer, Italians love to make picnics in the open, excursions in mountains or go to lunch by sea. Food is the central element of those festivities, there is an Italian saying: “Christmas with your family, Easter with everyone else“. The Italians also love to get together on Easter Sunday to enjoy together the traditional Easter food.
Easter Breakfast: usually the families of the central regions prepare a full basket for Easter breakfast. This basket contains the Easter Cake “Colomba”, different kinds of Italian Salame (like sausages), boiled eggs decorated with colors by special children, chocolate eggs. On Saturday before Easter, they go to church to be blessed.
In this period, in Italy we prepare different types of bread and Easter Cakes enriched with the main ingredients of our tradition. The most widely used ingredients, in any case, remain: cheese, spinach, pork, olives, eggs. And the Easter Egg, Italy’s undisputed Easter symbol.
The Dove Cake or “Colomba”: according to legend, King Alboin, after conquering the city of Pavia, ordered that on Easter Sunday were handed: gold, precious objects, and twelve-sixteen girls. Among the gifts, the old cook of the court created for the sovereign a soft and fragrant cake shaped like a dove. The dove dessert as we know it today, is a soft leavened cake, with candied fruit and a crisp coating of icing and almonds.
The Easter Egg symbol: the ancient Roman Peasants used to bury some red eggs in the soil of their fields to prevent hail. As a symbol of fertility and, therefore, favorable for the harvest. It is precisely with the meaning of renewed life that the egg became part of the Christian tradition, recalling the resurrection of Christ and eternal life.
Happy Easter and Buona Pasqua!
Posted by Nicoletta and Tiziana
The Real Italian Food. Buon Appetito!