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One of the amazing things about Italy is that each city has their own traditions and customs when it comes to celebrating Easter. Some of these traditions extend to other parts of Italy, but for the most part they are confined to that specific town. Some of the traditions that my family has observed are ones that you may or may not have heard of.
Once the Lenten season is over my family would celebrate by making frittata, which is similar to an omelet. Both my family and my Wife's family celebrate this particular tradition, but there are some slight differences. My Wife's family would prepare the frittata on Holy Saturday. They would wait for the official ending of Lent, which would occur at Noon. They only made one type of frittata, which was made with hot sausage and ricotta cheese. My Mom would prepare five different kinds of frittata on Easter morning. She would make one with hot sausage, one with asparagus, one with potatoes, one with pepperoni, and one with cheese and none of them contained ricotta cheese. In addition to the frittata both families would serve it with Easter bread. As you can see both families do this same tradition, but it has differences that may be attributed to the different regions of Italy they are from. My Mom and Dad are both from the Lazio region. My Wife's family hails from the region of Calabria.
Dyed Easter Eggs
During Holy Week my Mom and Aunt would make these incredible golden brown eggs to give to people at Easter. I was always amazed at how they did this. It turns out that they could create this color by adding the skin of onions to the pot of water used to boil the eggs. Not only were you transforming the egg into a hard boiled variety you were dying it at the same time. The process is rather simple and it is one that you can do as well with this step-by-step guide.
This tradition is one that my Mom used to do when she was younger and is done at the beginning of the Lenten season. The coraesema was made by placing a potato inside a sock and using material to transform it into a doll. Once the doll was made you would take seven feathers and stick them into the bottom of the potato. Six feathers would be placed in a circle while the seventh feather would go directly in the center. During each Sunday in Lent you would remove one of the feathers that formed the circle. The last feather, which is located in the center, would be removed at noon on Holy Saturday, which marked the end of Lent.
These are just some of the traditions that are observed by my family during Easter. If you have a tradition that your family does during Easter please share them by posting them on the Italian Culture forum. This is a great way to help preserve the many fascinating and wonderful traditions that Italians have celebrated for centuries.
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