A visit to Italy during the Easter holidays is an event not to miss: from north to south, cities and towns throughout the Peninsula are celebrating, with processions, religious rites, holy representations, sagre or food fairs, and folkloristic traditions that center around the Passion of the Christ.
Holy Week marks several important events for the Christian faith: the Last Supper, the Washing of the Disciples’ Feet, Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, the kiss of Judas, the Calvary, the death of Christ, Deposition, Burial and Resurrection.
On Maundy Thursday (this year on March 28th ) is the evening dedicated to the Eucharistic Feast, with the tomb visits that take place in every parish (a reproduction of the tomb of Christ), in remembrance of The Last Supper.
Good Friday, then, is the day for mourning and sorrow, while the city streets are illuminated with torches that procession along the Stations of the Cross.
The Via Crucis (from the Latin for Way or Stations of the Cross – also known as Via Dolorosa or Way of Grief) is a rite in which the Catholic Church reconstructs and commemorates Christ’s “Painful Way” that ends in the Crucifixion on Golgotha. In recent times, the spiritual itinerary of the Via Crucis added the Via Lucis (Way of Light), celebrating the Glorious Mysteries: the events of the life of Christ from Pentecost, or Whit Sunday, up to the Resurrection.
On Black Saturday, at midnight, church bells announce the Resurrection – moment of great joy that finally finds its culmination on Sunday. After the long phase of Lent, the faithful eat their Easter lamb, and enjoy candy eggs and dove-shaped sweets. The egg, symbol of fertility, of life and its renewal, is strongly linked to Easter and the beginning of spring, the blooming of nature.
Easter celebrations throughout the Bel Paese are many and diverse, with perhaps the biggest and most official celebrations in Rome.