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9 Apr

Calabrian Easter traditions (at the time of the quarantine)

How is our life changing in this historical moment? How are our Calabrian Easter traditions lived when we can’t really live and “share” them?

The traditions of our territory (Calabria) have very deep roots and are also deeply felt and shared by the new generations. Easter is one of those festivals most experienced in every part of the region (in some countries even more than Christmas). Almost everywhere a demonstration is organized according to local customs (which can be a procession, prayer vigils and the blessing of the tombs). Unfortunately this year these celebrations will not take place in their respective countries, due to the drastic change that the quarantine is making us experience right now (necessary and important change). But confident that this whole situation can be overcome as soon as possible, let’s relive our traditions a little, and that they can certainly be celebrated, resumed, lived and shared as soon as possible.

>>>The most evocative Easter ritual celebrations are often those that precede Easter day, and in the province of Reggio Calabria (where the Parco dei Principi Hotel is located, more precisely in Roccella Jonica) you can experience intense manifestations of millenary traditions:
  • in the small town of Mammola one of the most touching Easter rites of Holy Week is held, a procession that takes place along a rather steep climb, along which the faithful follow the dead Christ and Our Lady of Sorrows in procession; the Good Friday procession ends on Mount Calvario, located in the highest point of the town of Mammola.
  • For 400 years the rite of the Passion of Christ in Stilo has been re-proposed today, the rite is organized by the Brothers of the Church of the Immaculate Conception and St. Peter; Spectacular and touching liturgical ceremonies follow one another in the fascinating historic center of Stilo, in front of the churchyards, in the churches or through the streets of the town at night.
  • In the village of Monasterace, located on a hill 3 km from the sea, every day of Holy Week is characterized by a particular celebration full of devotion; on Holy Thursday the last supper is celebrated at the master church of Monasterace Superiore (mass incoena domini, washing of the feet to finish with the vigil of Christ in the garden), on the evening of Good Friday and on the morning of Saturday the procession for the streets of the town with mourning Mary, St. John and the dead christ, finally on Easter Sunday the cunfrunti, which consists in the encounter between the risen Christ with his mother Mary.
  • Caulonia also becomes the setting for a spectacular and exciting interpretation of Holy Week, from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Easter, the liturgical rites of Christianity are mixed with popular traditions. Holy week opens with the so-called “knock”, when believers go to the entrance of the Matrix church to be welcomed in prayer to the sacred place and to adore Jesus the Sacrament; between Wednesdays and Holy Thursdays the processions with torches and intoning songs, run around the perimeter of the church to find themselves inside, after the washing of the feet we visit the “sepulchers”. The liturgical scenes of the Passion on Saturday see the awaited procession of the “Caracolu”, the resurrection Sunday is told through the statue of San Giovanni and the Madonna, both hidden in different places, the “Unveiled” in the town square where faithful and curious gather to assist you (same rite, of a mystical intensity, it is also carried out in the city of Siderno, a few kilometers from Roccella Jonica where the Parco dei Principi Hotel rises).
Obviously how not to mention the “Easter traditions in Calabrian cuisine”! For this we turned to our Chef Sorgiovanni (which we remember deals with both the banquets that take place for weddings, birthdays, baptisms and any other occasion our customers decide to want to celebrate here at the Parco dei Principi Hotel, and also at the Badessa restaurant , which is always located inside the Park, unique in its kind both for its refined and luxurious location, and for the cuisine that brings with it excellence and tradition). Our chef Sorgiovanni, Calabrian DOC and award-winning (of which we are all very proud), tells us about the typical features that, he assures us with a very visible pride, he also prepares him during the holidays for the whole family:
  • The symbol par excellence and inevitable ingredient for all gastronomic recipes is the egg, symbol of Easter, of the life that is born, therefore many of the preparations have this ingredient as protagonist. And in this context, the typical Calabrian Easter dessert par excellence is the sguta (or anguta, or cuckoo, or cudduraci, in short, many names along the whole Calabri for the same delight), a pasta similar to a brioche with a hard-boiled egg set in its internal.
  • On the Easter table, there is also the baked lamb, which for Christians represents the innocent body of the crucified Jesus, therefore, in addition to being a very tasty and demanding dish to cook, it is one of the most popular symbols of Christianity.
  • Even the pastiera, despite not being a typical dessert of the Calabrian tradition in itself, has become an inevitable protagonist on our tables, when we all gather together to celebrate and enjoy the time spent together.
  • Finally, there are traditional Calabrian dishes that are typical and indispensable along the two coasts: mostazzoli, ‘nginetti, nepitelle, cici, riganella, cannilijri and much more.
Certainly there will be better times to celebrate and gather together, but in the meantime we remember how beautiful our culture offers us, how much we can always learn and above all live in a land as unique as few, Calabria.
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