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  • Easter in Italy
    Part 2 of 5: A Religious Experience
    Our Paesani

    by Francesca Di Meglio

    The revival begins on Palm Sunday, when Italians, many of whom rarely go to church, attend Mass. There, they receive a blessing from the priest. They then weave their palm to create crosses and other works of art that they exchange with friends and family for good luck. The more religious Italians go to church every day between Palm Sunday and Easter. On Venerdi Santo or Good Friday, many cities have parades to remember Christ carrying the cross to his crucifixion. On Easter Eve at midnight, everyone in town turns out for one of the longest Masses of the year to wait for the coming of the Lord.

    Churches, at least in southern Italy, are usually packed on Easter morning. The altars are overflowing with white flowers - donne in camicie or calla lilies, carnations, chamomile. After the lengthy Mass of the night before, this one is usually short and sweet. "Messa corta, tavola lunga," or "Short Mass, Long Table," so goes the Italian motto for Easter. The idea is that after worshipping for an entire week, your reward is a fantastic celebration with food and friends at the table.

    Part 3: The Holiday for Taking Holiday

    Part 1: A Spiritual Experience
    Part 2: A Religious Experience
    Part 3: The Holiday for Taking Holiday
    Part 4: Egg-stra Special
    Part 5: The Next Day


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