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“Natale con I tuoi, pasqua con chi vuoi!”

 

“Natale con I tuoi, pasqua con chi vuoi!” (Christmas with the family, Easter with whoever you like).

This year 18 million Italians (7.2 million families) will go on holyday during the Easter weekend.

That means 30% of the population (34% last year) while 53% will stay at home and 17% are undecided. According to the survey of “Confesercenti” only 24% will go to hotels, touristic villages, camping, while the majority will visit relatives and friends or they will go to their own holiday house (22%).

Many others will try to save money with bed&breakfasts (10%), ”agriturismi” (10%) or a rented house (5%).

According to “Confesercenti”, Italians will spend 9,7 billion euro, about 500 Euro on average for a 3 days holiday. 78% of the interviewed won’t spend more than 750 euro but 8% are going to spend at least 1.500 euro.

The data is pretty amazing if we consider the time of crisis we live in and the humble origins of the feast. As a matter of fact Easter has rural origins and began as an occasion for thanksgiving and offering the first fruits of the fields and gardens.

The feast is linked to the first awakening of nature. Most of the typical Easter products we find on our tables on Easter day have a symbolic meaning. Bread has a votive meaning, commemorating the supernatural miracle of germination of wheat and the memory of matzo (unleavened bread eaten by Jews during the exodus from Egypt).

The egg is an integral part of the feast. Because this food is the symbol of life that is renewed, an omen of fertility.

To eggs and bread are inspired the typical sour pies and green cakes: The “torta pasqualina” for example, an old Genoese dish or Easter cakes with cheese originally from Umbria, the “crescia” from Marche and the cheese pizzas stuffed with eggs, pecorino cheese, flour and olive oil.

Easter is still an important feast in Italy, not only to go on holiday! More than 3000 mystery plays are put up for this occasion. From North to South the country becomes the scene for religious rites, festivals, sacred performances, folkloric traditions. The Good Friday procession has usually a typical theatrical style whose origins can be traced back to the medieval times from the ritual procession called "Quem quaeritis?" which usually reached its conclusion in front of the Church.

Giulia Lombardo

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