Easter in Rome
WHEN IS EASTER?
Easter is a “moveable feast” (in other words it occurs in different dates according to the year), and it is the most important one in Christian cultures, as the date of a number of other moveable festivities is defined on the ground of this date.
Some parameters make it quite stable, though: it always occurs on the Sunday following the very first full moon of Spring (21 March is taken as a reference point as for the beginning of Spring). Therefore no doubts: it will always be included in the period between 22 March and 25 April, at least according to Roman Catholicism (other Christian faiths follow a slightly different calculation method).
KEY DATES & EVENTS
Friday 25 March 2016 – GOOD FRIDAY
The most emotional liturgy of the week is the Way of the Cross (Via Crucis) held by the Pope inside the Colosseum: it is a reenactment of Jesus Christ’s martyrdom across 14 Stations (stages) to the Mount Calvary. Thousands of tourches make it an impressive cerimony. It begins at 9.15 pm.
Sunday 27 March 2016 – EASTER SUNDAY
An outdoor mass takes place on Easter morning in St. Peter's Square. Urbi er Orbi message and blessing by the Pope at noon.
Monday 28 March 2016 – EASTER MONDAY (“PASQUETTA”)
The day after Easter is commonly known in Italian as Pasquetta (“Little Easter”) or Lunedì dell’Angelo (“the Angel’s Monday”, with reference to the episode of the Angel meeting a group of women in front of the Holy Sepulchre). It is public holiday and Romans traditionally go for outdoor picnics.
DID YOU KNOW THAT…
Easter symbol, a dove, takes the shape of a cake in Italy. It is called “Colomba” and it competes with the secular chocolate eggs on Italian lunch tables on Easter day.