In Italy, a proverb says “Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi” (Christmas with your family, Easter with whoever you want). As Christmas, also Easter is a very felt holidays, and that is when plenty of events are organized throughout our region.
How is Easter celebrated, especially in Le Marche?
As in many Catholic countries, the most important Easter days are Good Friday (Venerdì Santo), Easter Sunday (Pasqua) and Easter Monday (Pasquetta, i.e. the “Little Easter”). However, festivities also take place throughout Holy Week (Settimana Santa) before Easter.
Processions and Passion Plays on Good Friday:
On Good Friday mainly masses and processions take place, but in some places there are also so-called rievocazione or rappresentazione , i.e. Passion Plays.
Elke visited the Rappresentazione in Sassoferrato a few years ago and told us about it: an extensive and impressive Passion Play that takes place in different locations in the middle of the old town; the audience literally follows the action. Because it is a very big spectacle, it only takes place every two years and this year it’s that time again!
Admission is free, but for those wanting more background information, the tourist office offers behind-the-scenes tours of the Passion Play to special Passion menus in the city’s restaurants.
Also in Osimo and Loreto you can see impressive processions followed by a dramatic passion play, with numerous actors.
Particularly popular is La Turba in Cantiano, where, since the 16th century, people have been celebrating the return of the Christian community after the oppression by the Turks: a procession of people in historical clothing from the time of the Passion of Christ passes through the town, accompanied by fireworks, decorations and local products.
In Porto Recanati, Elke read that on Good Friday at 9 p.m., the fishing tradition “La Bara di Notte” starts, named after the stretcher on which the dead Christ was laid after his suffering: with a large wooden cross and a coffin, carried by fishermen , sedan chairs with statues of the Madonna and Saint John, and another cross moved by tunic-clad men – all largely without artificial lighting. This tradition is said to date back to the late 17th century. Here’s a video of the event:
Typical Specialties and Customs on Easter Sunday and Monday:
Easter Sunday is a lazy start and in Le Marche, of course, with good food: in an earlier article, I shared the Easter breakfast traditions and typical Easter specialties of my Marchigian family.
Easter egg hunt and egg tapping:
Of course Easter revolves around the Easter egg as a symbol of the resurrection of Christ and of life. There is an Easter egg hunt especially for the children (Caccia alle uova – egg hunt).
They also tap Easter eggs here as a game, called “la Scoccetta”: you knock the boiled, colored eggs together and whose egg is damaged loses and flies out. The winner gets to keep the loser’s egg.
It all takes place on a grander scale in Urbania, when on Easter Sunday and Monday residents meet in Piazza San Cristofero, the main square, and challenge each other to tap eggs. Because they use both the point and the round back of the eggs, the game is called Punta e Cul (Point and Backside).
What would Easter in Le Marche be without Easter gastronomy? Many restaurants offer traditional multi-course Easter menus at fixed prices. Book on time! But beware, the portions are huge! Because Easter also means the end of the 4-week fasting period, the Quaresima.
Links and information about some events :
Passion Play in Sassoferrato (at 21.15)
Osimo Cristo Morto-procession (at 20.00)
Loreto: Passion Play La Morte del Giusto (at 20.30)
Cantiano: La Turba (at 20.00)
Porto Recanati: La Bara (at 21.00)
Urbania: Punta e Cul (morning)
Elke took the starting times from the respective websites, but without guarantee.
Buona Pasqua from Ecco Le Marche team, Happy Easter!