Easter in Naples between sacred and profane

Easter is one of the most important religious holidays in the Catholic world. In fact, while the sacrifice of Jesus, who "died for us on the cross", represents one of the most heartfelt and painful moments for the faithful, the Resurrection, on the other hand, illuminates the path of  the faithful with light and hope. In Naples, a very devout city with a deep religious sentiment, also due to its Spanish origins, Easter is very much felt. There are numerous, in fact, the representations of the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) that animate the streets of the city and the province, evoking those touching moments. But not only. In fact, in Naples Easter is very important also for its "profane side".

In fact, Easter is also a time to be together with friends and relatives and to enjoy with them the traditional delicacies of Neapolitan cuisine. And then, since it usually falls in the spring period, it is also an occasion for make excursions or picnics, which usually took place on Easter Monday. We are talking about the rite of the so-called Pasquetta (Easter Monday) an untouchable rite for every Neapolitan: who does not remember, in fact, the ironic song Il rock dei tamarri (The rock of boors) by the Neapolitan singer Tony Tammaro, who lovingly ironized on the archaic Neapolitan custom? Ischia, Procida, Capri, but also Mondragone, Telese and Avellino were the most popular destinations in the '80s and '90s.

But today, in the midst of the Covid-19 emergency, how can we celebrate the anniversary, with all the restrictions that health prophylaxis is imposing to safeguard public health, let's find out together.

How to celebrate Easter in Naples in 2021

Having to abandon due to force majeure the rite of Easter Monday, the great mass religious events and lunches with numerous friends and relatives, the chances of celebrating, unfortunately, are reduced. Even if it remains open, however, during the Easter weekend, the possibility of being able to visit friends and relatives in limited numbers and be able to reach their second homes.

If you are an ardent faithful, however, there is nothing to stop you from celebrating the religious holiday in the church in your municipality in accordance with current regulations and security measures. In fact, rediscovering your religious sentiment in depth could help you find comfort and solace in this time of great difficulty. And this is true as far as the "spirit" is concerned.

If you want to satisfy the pleasures of the palate, on the other hand, there is nothing to stop you from celebrating the long-awaited moment with your partners, tasting with them the typical Neapolitan Easter specialties. On the evening of Holy Thursday, for example, it is customary in Naples to eat a mussel soup, a tradition of Bourbon origin that is a sort of aperitif for the lavish banquets of the following days. Days during which Neapolitans prepare two authentic delicacies, one salty and one sweet. The first is the casatiello, a rustic leavened cake: salami, cheese, eggs, these are the main ingredients of the absolute protagonist of the Easter Monday of the past! The second one is the pastiera, a cake characterized by a short pastry with a creamy filling made of wheat and ricotta cheese, among the most renowned sweets of the Neapolitan tradition. These two masterpieces of gastronomy will surely be present as every year on the tables of every Neapolitan, next to salami, salted ricotta cheese and other typical Easter foods.

And for Easter Monday? We suggest you arm yourself with patience and imagination and use the open spaces of your home in the best way possible. If you are lucky, and you have a nice garden, maybe you can eat your meal there, if the weather, as you hope will be good. And with the help of technology, you can contact friends and relatives who usually celebrated with you these happy moments, to rebuild, at least virtually, the typical Neapolitan Easter Monday waiting for better times certainly.