Easter for me has always involved a big family get together, much like Christmas, where we over-indulge on chocolate Easter eggs and sit round for a big roast lamb dinner. I will always remember one particular Easter I spent in Italy when I was a kid. I woke up, eyes on stalks at the sight of a bunch of Easter eggs wrapped in elaborate, brightly coloured foil – so much more impressive than the boxed variety in the UK. So this got me thinking, how do families celebrate Easter in Europe?
Let’s start with Easter in Italy…
[responsive-image id=’2244′ align=’left’ caption=’St Peter’s Square’]La Pasqua is celebrated by eating roasted lamb and there’s always Colomba – dove-shaped bread made with raisins, not too dissimilar to the panettone we have at Christmas. But enough about the food, Easter is of course a Roman festival and people flock to the country’s capital on Easter Sunday to take part in the open air mass at St. Peter’s Square. If you fancy soaking up the atmosphere, Camping Fabulous is a perfect place to stay, but do bear in mind that most tourist attractions will be closed for some of the weekend.
Easter in France
Pâques starts in France with the silencing of church bells the day before Good Friday, and they don’t start ringing again until Easter Sunday. The story says the bells fly to Vatican City and return on Easter Sunday with chocolate blessed by the pope. This is also the same in the Netherlands and Belgium. So on Sunday morning when the bells start to ring, the children run outside to find their Easter treats! Chocolate treats tend to be eggs, rabbits, bells and fish known as Poisson d’Avril (April fish). Children stick the chocolate fish wrappers to adult’s backs and run away shouting “Poisson d’Avril”.
Easter in Spain
[responsive-image id=’2245′ align=’right’ caption=’A Pasos’]Easter celebrations in Spain happen over a week known as Semana Santa, starting on Palm Sunday. Every town in Spain marks Pascua with a procession of religious-themed floats known as pasos. The traditional food of Easter in Spain is torrijas: milk-soaked slices of bread, fried in oil and served with honey or sugar, a bit like French toast…delicious!