What does Easter mean to you? Does it mean something? It does not matter where you come from or which religion you belong to catholic, christian, jewish, muslim, buddhist or any other kind. Or you just simply do not belong to any of them. This post is not about ‘religion’, don’t worry. This is a pure description of what ‘Easter’ means for this Peruvian girl. So, join me on this little story.
First things first, as a usual Peruvian I come from a big family. I have 4 siblings, 2 sisters and 2 brothers. When I was a child I always enjoyed being around them. The house was always noisy and there was always a reason to fight or laugh. I always felt their protection and love. What a great times!
Many families in Peru are catholic, my family is one of them. I guess being part of any religious group demands certain types of traditions and customs. These traditions are inherited from previous generations of course, my mother’s parents were so committed to catholicism and to their faith, something that I really admire and respect.
So, my family’s traditions for Easter started with palm Sunday. On the first Sunday of holy week, we used to attend the mass with some palms in our hands and they were blessed by the priest at the end of the ceremony. I use to enjoy the final part of the mass as our faces got wet due to the ‘blessed water’ thrown. After we got home, we use to put the ‘blessed palms’ behind our doors. My mom said that from that day on, we were protected and it was the sign of the beginning of this special week.
From holy Monday to holy Wednesday there was not something very particular to do. We normally pray or reflect on our behaviour within the year. Anyway, these days were not common, we still knew it was Easter; you could feel it in the environment. I remember there were some ‘processions’ and you could hear people singing or praying outside the house.
When holy Thursday arrived, there was a massive activity. On that day we had the mission to walk to 12 churches which represent the different episodes in Jesus’s life. I pretty liked this walking because I did it with my sisters and we talk a lot (a lot) about many things. Also at the end of the walk my elder sister used to buy us candy apples which are very traditional in Peru and they are so yummy.
Holy Friday was also memorable. On this day we had to fast until midday. We use to have a very late lunch almost dinner time. My mom used to make a delicious soup made of fish, seafood, vegetables and milk. It was just amazing!!! After the main course we had some desserts while we watched the movie Ben-Hur. This classical is part of my family’s traditions and probably for many Peruvian families. I guess I watched this movie 20 times or more probably. Well, I’ll never get enough of it.
Holy week finishes with ‘passion Sunday’. On that day we had a big meal which was made of different kinds of meat. We also visited the church and pray for a while. All that week was so unforgettable for me, I felt how priceless it was to share all these activities together in family. Pleasant memories are made of people we love and those moments we live which are also part of our culture legacy.
When I’ve lived in Australia for two years I missed these days a lot. This year I am also apart from home. I was caught by the quarantine in another town. But it doesn’t matter just to think of these memories draw a big smile on my face.
How do you celebrate this week in your country? Is it the same or different? Please feel free to share your experiences, I’d appreciate to learn more about other traditions.
Happy Easter from here!
Source of pictures respectively: https://clipartix.com/palm-sunday-clipart-image-39392/ https://cookidoo.thermomix.com/recipes/recipe/en-US/r542919