Regrettably I missed Easter in Sicily last year (2013) by one week, but I was in Enna on the following ‘Albis’ Sunday and I saw the procession ( all- male, different ages, sodalities /confraternity, groups from different churches/ fellowships ) who headed from Piazza Mazzini to the nearby Lombard castle in Enna.
From here, the priest blessed the fields while the Holy Trinity looked on – Father, Son and Holy Ghost. God the Father, could easily have been Saint Joseph as he too is associated with drought and fava beans (broadbeans) and the blessing of crops to prevent famine .
Easter (Pasqua in Italian) is a joyous celebration in Italy. It has religious significance but it is also linked to Spring.
Because Italy is a Catholic country, religious celebrations at Easter in certain regions may go on before and after the Easter weekend. Sicily particularly has its share of rituals and traditions and in many parts of Sicily there are processions and solemn religious ceremonies during the weeks leading up to Easter Sunday.
Easter Monday is called Pasquetta (small Easter). Being Spring, this is a popular time to enjoy the countryside and eating food outdoors, perhaps with a picnic or travelling to a nearby country restaurant and dining al fresco in the Spring sunshine (once again to celebrate the season).
Here are links to some of the traditional dishes eaten over Easter in Sicily:
• EASTER IN SICILY – A SICILIAN FEAST IN RAGUSA – Recipes and Giuggiulena
CASSATA and other “cose dolci” (sweet things in Italian)
• CASSATA (It is perfect for an Australian Christmas)
• SICILIAN CASSATA and MARZIPAN AT EASTER (Food and Culture in Sicily, La Trobe University)
• CASSATA DECONSTRUCTED – a postmodernist take on Sicilian Cassata
• PASQUA, Traditional Sweets – AGNELLINI PASQUALI (Pascal Lamb), Fondant to cover CASSATA
• CASSATA (Post no. 2) Calls for a celebration!!!
• PASTA DI MANDORLA (Marzipan, the traditional recipe)
• SCACCE A focaccia-like stuffed bread
• ‘MPANATA (A lamb pie, Easter treat)
• ENPA (National Protection of Animals)