Easter is a really important time for Christians around the world. It begins the week before on Palm Sunday and is called the Holy Week. It is the end of the 40 day period of fasting known as Lent. Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus three days after he was crucified on Good Friday.
Christians around the world observe and celebrate Easter in many different ways. There are sunrise services, Easter egg painting and parades. Two things are common though – church services and plenty of good food.
We show you how different cities around the world celebrate Easter.
The Holy Week and Easter celebrations in Seville are one of the most spectacular in the world. The atmosphere is really terrific. Every day there are huge colourful processions with masked participants and floats depicting scenes from Christ’s passion. The floats are elaborately decorated and feature startlingly lifelike sculptures – some of which are several centuries old masterpieces. It is a really important occasion for local Catholics and the many worshippers who come from across the world.
As the Lenten period draws to a close, Jerusalem is packed with thousands of local and foreign Christians. Celebrations in Christianity’s most holy city happens on a more emotional and spiritual plane. Every year pilgrims come to join in processions that retrace the steps Christ took on the way to his crucifixion. Known as the Via Dolorosa (Way of Suffering), it winds through narrow passageways from Lion’s Gate to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
The solemn yet joyous services at the Holy Sepulchre on Easter Sunday are especially important as Christians believe that this is the place where Jesus was buried and later resurrected. A visit to the historic and picturesque Mount of Olives, Jesus’ favourite place, is not to be missed.
The spiritual and administrative centre of the Roman Catholic Church, Rome hosts a number of traditional and religious events. For two weeks there are processions and church services (some candlelit/torch lit) to mark the most important event in the Christian calendar. The Good Friday processions are particularly poignant as actors enact the Passion of Christ leading up to Christ’s crucifixion.
The Pope is involved in many of the services. On Easter morning he will celebrate open air mass in St Peter’s Square with many thousands of worshippers. After the mass he delivers the blessing known as the "Urbi et Orbi – to the City and to the World" from the balcony on the façade of Saint Peter's.
Argentina is almost 85% Catholic and so Easter is an important time for people. There are numerous religious events around this time. La Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Argentina is observed by candlelit processions through the streets accompanied by melodious choirs. Easter in Argentina involves plenty of delicious foods and sweets. It is a time when families get together and conjure some tasty dishes.
One of the most popular destinations in Buenos Aires during Easter is the Tierra Santa Religious Theme Park. The park is a recreation of many Christian related sites and buildings of ancient Jerusalem that give you the feeling of being in that holy city even though you are many thousands of miles away. During the Holy Week they put on special programmes re-enacting the important events in the life of Christ.
This city likes to put on a show and Easter is just the occasion when New York puts its best foot forward. The many churches have services all through the Holy Week. The lovely and most famous church in the city is St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Central New York.
Aside from the religious observances, one of the most famous (and rather hilarious) events is the Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival. The event takes place on the celebrated Fifth Avenue. You have got to see (and join in if you want) the jaw-dropping bonnets, hats and outfits. Some are elegant, some are interesting and many are just plain over-the-top creations. Some people even bring their dressed up dogs!