“Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi”. – Italian saying.
Today’s the April 16, 2017…so it’s finally time to say Happy Easter, or “Buona Pasqua” in Italain!
One of the major Christian holidays, Easter, or Pasqua in Italian, is celebrated in Italy and in many other Christian countries worldwide. According to Christian tradition, Easter Sunday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, as written in the New Testament of the Holy Bible, or Sacra bibbia in Italian.
Though Easter has a religious background, today it is widely celebrated even by those Italians who consider themselves “non credenti” (those who don’t believe in God). No wonder, since the resurrection of Christ throughout the centuries was extended to even broader contexts, such as spring, rebirth and love for life and people.
Along with Christmas, Easter is one of the the favourite festivities for both Italian kids and adults. How wouldn’t it, if a part from happy atmpsphere and the colour and the scent of spring flowers, it’s also the most “tasty” holiday throughout the year?
The Uovo di Pasqua
Worldwide, the symbol of Easter is egg. Yet, in Italy, the main Easter attribute is not just egg, but the uovo di Pasqua (the chocolate egg). Curious, isn’t it?
The dimensions of uovo di Pasqua may vary from a tiny to medium and extremely big (sometimes it can reach one meter in height or even more). Moreover, the uovo di Pasqua can be made of any excisting type of chocolate: from extra dark to dark to milk and white. It can include huzelnuts, almonds or dry fruits. The Italian craftsmen’s fantasy is infinite and is ready to satisfy even the most demanding tastes. And this is what the Italian adults appreciate the best.
As for kids, a part from the immense quantity of chocolate itself, they are mostly enthusiasted to discover the surprises that are hidden inside these delicious Easter eggs.
The Colomba di Pasqua
Another chief attribute of Italian Easter is the colomba di Pasqua, or Easter Dove. The colomba (“dove”) is an Italian traditional Easter cake (the counterpart of the two well-known Italian Christmas cakes, panettone and pandoro).
The dough for the colomba is made of flour, eggs, sugar, natural yeast and butter and often contains candied peel. The dough of colomba is then fashioned into a dove shape and finally is topped with pearl sugar and almonds before being baked.
However, some manufacturers and artisans produce other more sophisticated versions of colomba. So, sometimes instead of candied peel, the colomba di Pasqua can be topped with chocolate, cream, cocconut, pears or cherries. Or othe stuff. Once again, the fanatsy of the Italian artisans is infinite. And they all taste so good!
My favourite choice? The colomba trooped with pistachio cream, realized by Scarpato.
Moreover, Pasqua includes Easter Sunday and Pasquetta, or lunedì dell’Angelo (Bright Monday) ans is the national holiday throughout Italy. Hence, all public offices and private organizations this year (2017) are be closed on Sunday 16 and Monday 17, April. The same for the overwhelming majority of Italian supermarkets and boutiques.
Fortunately for Italian kids, the school vacation days last a bit longer. This year, almost all Italian schools are closed from April 13 to 18 (2017).
Though historically and traditionally Easter is the religious and hence the national holiday, the way Italians celebrate it may differ from person to person, region to region. In the same way, Easter meals vary throught the country, but do always include eggs, lamb and Colomba. Since these meals symbolize fertility, renewal and life.
Just as Christmas, for most Italians Easter is a great occasion for family gathering at lunch table. Meanwhile, for some it represents the possibility to organize a picnic outside the city or even a small holiday. A kind of appetizer before the real summer holidays.
Yet, even if there are different ways one celebrate Easter… The Pasqua days all Italians share the spirit of happiness, hope, faith and love! It’s a period of great expectations and miracles after all… So, let’s celebrate, with peace and love in our hearts!
Buona Pasqua! XoXo
This post is also available in: English