Easter in Italy and Belluno



Easter is the main feast of Christianity and the most important festival for Christian Catholics because with the resurrection of Jesus all the sins of human beings are cleansed.

Before the Easter lunch, on Sunday morning all Christian families go to Mass at 11.00 or 12.00 a.m. After mass, people usually go to have lunch in a countryside location.

There are many traditions in Italy concerning  Easter; for example, after lunch grandparents or uncles and aunts hide the Easter eggs in the house giving advice to children on how to find them and also all the grandparents give a small sum of money to their grandchildren. Also, in many Italian villages there is a very famous tradition called “the gift of eggs”: people giving each other chocolate eggs as presents; a popular tradition in Belluno also concerns eggs: it is called the game of "rolo", during which each participant brings colored eggs and, as in the game of bowls, the egg which hits the target wins.




In Italy there many religious traditions concerning Easter, like for example, calling upon a priest to bless the house, but food in particular is really important during Easter. Italian people usually celebrate Easter eating lamb meat, because Christ is often symbolized by a lamb, chocolate eggs, a cake similar to a dove and the Easter bunny.

Chocolate eggs are an emblem of life, while the Easter bunny is the emblem of god and the dove reminds us of the great flood described in the Genesis. The Easter dove is a typical dessert also in Belluno; it is simply a cake topped with sugar and dipped in milk which can become even more delicious by adding chocolate as topping. In many Italian tables bread is also present during Easter, because it remembers the unleavened bread eaten by Jews during their escape from Egypt.


Easter cooking traditions in Italy may vary according to regions; for example you might have:


Capra alla neretese (Abruzzo): it is made with goat's meat and peppers



Torta Pasqualina (Liguria): made with pasta and artichokes



Dolce di Sant'Agata (Toscana): made with eggs, flour, sugar and milk



Pizza Dolce di Terni (Umbria): made with milk, sweet, flour and butter



Pastiera Napoletana (Campania, in the picture): made with sugar, milk, butter and eggs





While this is how a typical Easter dove might look like: