Pasqua is still considered a traditional religious celebration in many Italian regions. It’s a day to spend with your loved ones in relax and enjoying a special traditional meal all together.
Pasquetta also known as Easter Monday is a national holiday in many Christian countries. Also known as Lunedi dell ‘Angelo (Monday of the Angels), it’s a day to remember the two Marys who, upon finding the sepulcher of Christ to be empty, were comforted by angels. Beside the Christian meaning It is also a day for many to enjoy the time outdoors on daily excursions or mostly relaxing in a public park enjoying a lovely pic nic with friends and family.
Una giornata fuori porta
Through the years the religious aspect of the feast (which is still observed by law as a national holiday) has been replaced by the traditional “giornata fuori porta” outdoors excursion to relax after Easter week. The preparation of Pasquetta can be part of a complex and sophisticated organization: the search for the right park or place to visit, the selection of the menu and snacks to prepare to make sure there will be enough food to cover a long day out and most of all the ritual of the “prayer of the hope” to prevent a rainy day. It’s common saying that on weekends and holy days usually rains and maybe Pasquetta day is the most emblematic day of this urban myth. First of all it is very important to see which day is Easter: Pasqua alta or bassa” and the date will make a big difference on weather forecast.
Why Easter changes every year?
As you might know Easter is determined to fall on the Sunday after the full moon following March 21 for Western Christians, so between March 22nd (Pasqua bassa) and April 25th (Pasqua alta) each year.
March in Italy is one of the most rainy months of the year so how can we even think that Pasquetta will be a dry day? We might be lucky when Easter falls in mid-april (Pasqua alta) and the weather is about to adjust to warmer temperature but this year falling being pretty early in the calendar we might just hope for a sunny day. The week before Pasquetta we all start a “Weather Forecast Guessing game”: every day we consult websites, Tv news and crossing our fingers we hope for the positive auspice. 3 days before there still a hope, 2 days before we start setting a plan B in case of rain and on Easter day, right after lunch we will spend the rest of the afternoon calling friends to search for a good option in case of rain.
Food is essential in this elaborated organization: leftover from Easter day can be a good help but something freshly made will also be appreciated by all participants: we can not miss Panini of all kind stuffed with a selection os salami, Porchetta, cheese or omelette. A big bowl of pasta seasoned with many different ingredients is also a must of an outdoor pic-nic, and then pies, lasagna, pizza will be part of the rich menu. In case of a bbq better to be prepared with a selection of meat: beef steaks, pork sausages and bacon, lamb arrosticini and chicken can be a good selection, of course bread is important for a good bruschetta and salad and vegetables to feel wealthy and vegan friendly. Cakes and pastries easy to take will be prepared in advance and enjoyed for an afternoon snack, local red and white wine will be of course served during the whole meal, snack time, tea time and pre dinner. A friend playing guitar is at the top of invited list, an engaging friend will also be necessary in case of a moment of decline on the day conducting and of course girls helping on food setting and cleaning are never enough!
A very relaxing day….
The day will proceed at a very low pace: too energetic activities will be banned from the program, cards and table games are favorite in this day for the brave ones some soccer or volley will be a good way to digest 2 days of food immersion. Gags, jokes, gosspis….. all funny and involving stories will be the top conversation of the day. It has been a very long day, tired of doing nothing is time to go home and be mentally prepared for a new working day. We had great time and we are still happy and positive because right after Easter i we celebrate Italy’s Liberation Day on April 25 and so we can be sure that would be a sunny day and we will all be busy for a couple of weeks on planning another never changing, relaxing and lazy outdoor day…..