Almost everyone knows that, for Christians, Easter represents the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But not everyone knows that this event is based on pagan traditions that were adapted by Christianity. The date of Easter was used to celebrate the vernal equinox, the rebirth of life after the rigid winter. The English word Easter (Pasqua in Italian) comes from the pagan goddess “Eostre”. The rituals in the name of this goddess are centred on rebirth, represented by the egg, universal symbol of life (hence Easter eggs) and fertility, represented by the rabbit (hence the Easter bunny). Easter in the world (link):
In England the Catholic tradition is to meet on a hill at sunrise to hold a mass service. This tradition is called Sunrise Service. Another particular tradition is the “rolling egg” competition, which consists in rolling eggs down the hills. The winner is the one who first reaches the bottom of the hill (the egg must be intact). In Spain during the Easter period, the tradition is to hang “palmons” from doors and windows to protect the house from witches and evil spirits. It is also a habit to eat “mona”, an Easter cake decorated with chocolate eggs which is traditionally given to one's godson from his godfather.
In Greece on Easter night bells ring, the faithful go to church (the service is held in the dark) and light the candle which they bring with them, and which they will take back home to celebrate the Rebirth of God who brings light. In Russia on Easter morning the families go to the grave of a loved one where they will hold a picnic. At night there is a banquet with different types of meat, fish and mushrooms. The hard boiled eggs are painted red to represent new life obtained through the sacrifice of Christ. In France church bells do not ring from Friday until Easter Sunday, as a sign of mourning for the Crucified Christ. To justify the silence, the children are told that the bells have flown to Rome.
Nordic countries welcome Easter by also celebrating the arrival of spring. In Sweden and in Finland, white poplar branches with buds are blessed on Palm Sunday. The week before Easter, children carry out a ritual of medieval origins: they dress like witches and hand out their letters in exchange for candy. A characteristic Easter dish in Finland is the "Pasha" with cheese, and the "Mammi", a rye pudding. In Sweden they eat coloured hard boiled eggs. In Denmark homes are decorated with blooming branches and coloured eggs, and on Easter Sunday the entire family gathers together for a cold buffet, and the children receive a chocolate rabbit.
In Israel two events are celebrated: the Christian Easter and the Jewish feast of the "Passah". During holy week there are processions passing through the stations of the Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross). The Jewish feast of the "Passah" begins on Thursday before Easter and is meant to remind of the exodus of Jews from Egypt, for seven days.
Reopening of the Cavallino Matto - the largest amusement park in tuscany.
Cavallino Matto, the largest amusement park in Tuscany, is reopening with new initiatives. “The Wonders of Nature” is a programme of theoretic and practical activities of Permanent Environmental Education and Naturalistic Botanic Path for first grade primary and secondary schools. For the year 2011 the Cavallino Matto Amusement Park has set a challenging goal: helping the men and women of tomorrow to grow with an always greater awareness and attention towards nature around them. After having accompanied generations of boys and girls in fun and carefree activities by offering them unforgettable moments of entertainment, the Park means to use the wonderful and uncontaminated nature surrounding it as a must-see stop for “educational field trips” for all of Tuscany. Learning has never been so fun!
HOTEL MARINETTA PROPOSES STAYS WITH FREE ENTRY IN THE AMUSEMENT PARK. Click here to find out about our offers:
Loving Italy: food and wine event at the Marina di Bibbona Fort (LI) – may 7/8 2011.
This year, come back to Loving Italy: LegAmbiente keeps betting on small Italian towns. The Club de’ Toscanacci, under the patronage of the City of Bibbona (LI) Administration, is organising the food and wine event for tasting and selling typical and biological products. The event will take place in the suggestive location of the Marina di Bibbona Fort, and is connected to a national initiative of LegAmbiente called “Vogliamo bene all’Italia” (“We Love Italy”), to which the City of Bibbona adheres with great conviction.
Via dei Cavalleggeri Nord 3,
57020 Marina di Bibbona (Livorno), Italy
Tel.: +39.0586 600598