Sunday, April 08, 2007


A peaceful Easter is what I would like to wish the whole world, though a glance through this morning's papers would indicate that there is little hope of that, sadly.
I'm off to an Easter lunch with friends shortly and am taking along the traditional Colomba cake, made in the shape of a dove, symbolising peace. [Most people buy these, rather than making them.] The second picture shows a smaller, chocolate-covered version, for children. [I expect many of you will know this cake already; they are available in the UK now.]
It's a lovely day here and down in Modica Bassa the ceremony of the Madonna Vasa-Vasa is under way: This festa was introduced to Sicily by the Spaniards and dates back to about the year 1600. The statues of the Madonna and the risen Christ are taken separately out of the church of Santa Maria di Betlemme, the Madonna wearing a black cloak of mourning. She is carried all around the town for she is looking for her son. At midday all the bells ring, the statues meet, the Madonna loses her mourning cloak and the two are manipulated so that they kiss. This being Italy, a great deal of noise is made throughout the festa! In bygone days, mothers used, upon hearing the bells, to leave all their chores and scoop their babies into their arms. They would go outside, hold the children aloft and shout, "Crisci, crisci!" believing that this would make the children grow faster and ensure their health.
I do think that being able to find some joy in your religion is a great gift.


Lee said...

So true, Welsh. If one can find joy within one's self...with what ever way, which ever way, one sees, faces one's personal religion...belief...the world would be a far better place.

I was raised, going to Sunday School every Sunday morning....I have my belief which I hold close to myself...religion, in the way I see it...feel a very personal thing. Unfortunately, religion is used...and has been since the world began as a tool...a tool of destruction. Religion, in its truth and honest, was never meant to be used in this manner. "Man" is guilty of creating a monster from what should always be held as holy.

I don't know what I have tried to say makes any sense to others...but it does to me...somehow. We all believe in God...God may have different faces...but boil it is all the same. The unfortunate part is humans fail to realise that.

Liz Hinds said...

We had an easter egg hunt as part of our Easter morning meeting so that was pretty joyful!

Hope your lunch went well.

jmb said...

Ah, Italy, still steeped in tradition. How strange a festival like this must seem to outsiders. Even the non-religious Italians would never want these things to change.

Gracchi said...

Happy Easter Welshcakes.

I'm not religious- but I am glad for those who are, who find both solace and joy in their religion, it must be a great comfort when things aren't so good and a great joy when they are going well.

Ruthie said...

I haven't had Easter dove cake in years. It's so good with a glass of prosecco.

What a lovely account of the festival, I wish I could have been there to see it.

Anonymous said...

I hope your Sunday was a grand one. Today in Germany is Easter Monday and a holiday. All of the shops are closed. Back to normal tomorrow.

Ellee Seymour said...

So lovely to have a festa, I can't remember the last one I went to. I hope you have a lovely day.

Liz Hinds said...

Didn't I comment on this? Something along the lines of having an Easter egg hunt as part of the Sunday service making me joyful?! And hoping you enjoyed lunch with friends.

Or did I dream it? I lost one of my own comments recently so I might just be imagining that I'm making comments ...

James Higham said...

I do think that being able to find some joy in your religion is a great gift.

In the case of genuine Christianity, of course, it's guaranteed.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Lee. All I can say is I agree. Glad you had a good Easter egg hunt, Liz. I used to love those. jmb, yes, some outsiders find these ceremonies very strange. I think you just have to embrace them and look at them from the Italian standpoint. I don't want them to change either. Thanks, Gracchi. Hope you had a good Easter, too. I'm not religious either but I wish I was. Ruthie, perhaps you will come and see it one day. Hi, Steve. Yes, Monday a holiday here too but Good Friday, surprisingly, isn't. Thanks, Ellee and Liz. Yes, I had a lovely time. You didn't dream that you commented, Liz. As you know by now, the internet socket fell off the wall! James, I envy you your faith.

Ballpoint Wren said...

What a sweet tradition, with the Mary statue looking for her son!


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