“Natale con I tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi” as the Italian proverb goes: ”Christmas with your relatives, Easter with whomever you want.’
Tradition and ritual play a strong role in Italian culture, especially during celebration before Easter and at Easter. On Venerdi Santo (Good Friday) there are procession through the center of the Italian cities to commemorate la Via della Croce, Christ’s carrying of the Cross. After the pause of Sabato Santo (Holy Saturday) where you take the Easter food to church to be blessed. The celebration begins con la Domenica di Pasqua ( Easter Sunday) includes Mass with everyone dressed in the best dresses, bonnets, suit and ties, a visit to the cemetery and traditional daylong banquet. Food plays a key part in the celebration, lamb, eggs are found on the tables around the country along the seasonal vegetables and salads, and followed by the traditional dolci, la Colomba di Pasqua ( a dove shaped sweet bread), and Easter sweet bread braided in a shaped wreath and hard boiled eggs baked in the center. A special treat for the children is the Uova di Pasqua, a large decorative chocolate egg wrapped with colorful paper that comes with a surprise inside. The day after Easter is the official holiday called Pasquetta, which is celebrated with family and friends picnic style in the countryside.