Hello, hello, hello, everyone!!! I hope you are well.
This week I would like to share with you all how I normally celebrate Easter and how other countries celebrate it.
As most of you know I come from Gibraltar, which is an overseas British territory, however it is close to Spain. Due to this fact, I strongly believe that we are positively influenced by the best of both cultures.
In Gibraltar, Easter Monday is an official holiday, therefore Easter Sunday is celebrated in many ways. There is a variety of religious communities, including both Catholic and Protestant, which offer a variety of services in this day. Gibraltarians gather with family members and enjoy dinners together, while there are also parades on the streets, religious services and events, greeting cards, painted eggs, bunnies and chocolate in abundance.
Normally during Easter holidays, the weather starts to get warm and some people go to the beach, have picnics, or even go hiking up the rock.
My mum is Spanish and therefore I’ve grown up with the mixture of both cultures. In Spain you tend to cook the traditional Easter dishes such as fresh fish and sea food (religious beliefs) and traditional desserts such as “Torrijas”, “Buñuelos” and even rice pudding. In terms of celebration they are very religious, and they live the Easter holiday with processions on the streets, telling the story of Jesus Christ with images. I have always enjoyed my afternoons with my family watching the processions from my family’s window and in the streets looking for them from street to street. It’s a very sentimental event, with petals thrown from the rooftops and traditional songs called “Saetas” sung from the balconies.
My boyfriend on the other hand is from Poland and he also has lots of traditional and fun ways of celebrating Easter. He attends mass on Easter Sunday and Monday with his family. On Saturday they take a basket with food that they will eat for breakfast on Easter Sunday, such as lamb (a symbol of the victory of life over death), egg (a sign of reviving life), bread (body of Christ), sausage (symbolising prosperity, health and fertility), water (a sign of preparation for a new life), salt (a symbol of purification), cake (a metaphor for skill and excellence) and horseradish (a sign of physical strength) to church and receive the blessing of the priest.
He also spends time with the family, eating chocolates and painting eggs. The most fun thing is splashing water on other members of the family on Monday morning as a symbol of purification and an expression of gratefulness that the first Polish king was baptised, and that Catholicism entered Poland.
This Easter was a very different Easter for many of us. Although some traditions have been difficult to carry out due to the circumstances that we are living in now, we still have something very important that no one and nothing can ever take away from us – our smile. Our smile of hope that everything will be fine. A smile of calmness that there is only a little to go. And a smile of happiness knowing that although we can’t hug our loved ones, we can still enjoy seeing them and speaking to them every day.
“Life is a journey to be experienced, not a problem to be solved”. – Winnie the Pooh, Disney.