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La Pasquetta: Easter Monday in Italy

Have you ever received a chocolate egg as a gift? For Italians, the chocolate egg is a symbol of Easter, which is the most important festival in Christianity. The Monday after Easter (Easter Monday), in particular, is a holiday of celebration on a grand scale. In this lesson, we’ll go over Italian Easter traditions and more facts about Easter in Italy.

At ItalianPod101.com, we hope to make learning about Italian culture both fun and informative!

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1. What is Easter Monday in Italy?

Easter Monday celebrates the resurrection of Christ three days after his death, and is one of the most significant Christian holidays. As we’ll see in this lesson, Easter is very important in Italy. It’s also a national holiday and corresponds with the spring holidays.

2. When is it?

Easter Eggs and Flowers

The date of Easter Monday in Italy varies from year to year. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

  • 2019: April 22
  • 2020: April 13
  • 2021: April 5
  • 2022: April 18
  • 2023: April 10
  • 2024: April 1
  • 2025: April 21
  • 2026: April 6
  • 2027: March 29
  • 2028: April 17

3. Reading Practice: How is Easter in Italy Celebrated?

Family Having a Picnic Together

How is Easter celebrated in Italy? Find out by reading the French text below (you can find the English translation directly below it).

Nella maggior parte delle case italiane il giorno di Pasqua si organizza un grande pranzo con amici e parenti. Secondo la tradizione con la Pasqua finisce un lungo periodo di digiuno, quindi ogni piatto è particolarmente ricco, come la pizza di Pasqua, che è una grossa torta al formaggio dell’Italia centrale o l’agnello al forno con le patate e i carciofi. Ovviamente non bisogna dimenticare le uova di Pasqua, le uova sono un simbolo di vita e rinascita; oggi sono fatte di cioccolato, ma in passato venivano usate uova vere, con il guscio decorato.

Il giorno dopo la Pasqua è detto il Lunedì di Pasqua, detto anche Pasquetta, e anche questo è un giorno di vacanza nazionale. Per tutti gli Italiani il Lunedì di Pasqua è un’ottima occasione per uscire di casa e andare a fare un picnic in campagna o andare a visitare qualche famosa città d’arte. Per esempio uno dei luoghi più belli in cui molti italiani si recano per fare il picnic è il bosco di San Francesco, in Umbria, ad Assisi.

In Italia quando qualcuno fa delle grandi pulizie si dice che fa le “pulizie di Pasqua” – infatti tradizionalmente prima della Pasqua, in rispetto di Cristo e per accogliere la nuova stagione, bisognava pulire la casa da cima a fondo.

In most Italian homes, a grand lunch is organized with family and friends on Easter Day. According to traditions, Easter marks the end of a long period of fasting, so every dish is very rich, such as the Easter pizza, which is a large cheese pie from central Italy, or roast lamb with potatoes and artichokes. Of course, we must not forget the Easter eggs, because eggs are a symbol of life and rebirth. Today they are made of chocolate, but in the past, real eggs with decorated shells were used.

The day after Easter is called Easter Monday, or Little Easter, and it is also a national holiday. For all Italians, Easter Monday is an excellent opportunity to leave their homes and go out for a picnic in the countryside or visit some famous cities of art. For example, one of the most beautiful places Italians go for picnics is the forest of St. Francis, in Assisi, Umbria.

In Italy, when someone does a lot of cleaning, they call it “spring-cleaning”; in fact, in the past it was traditional to respect Christ and to welcome the new season by cleaning the house before Easter.

4. Easter Symbols in Italy: Olive Tree

Do you know which tree symbolizes Easter in Italy?

It’s the olive tree, which is usually distributed to Catholic churches on Palm Sunday, a week before Easter, as a symbol of peace.

5. Must-know Vocab

Easter Dove Cake

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Easter Monday in Italy!

  • Picnic — “Picnic”
  • Grigliata — “Barbeque”
  • Lunedì dell’Angelo — “Angel Monday”
  • Gita all’aria aperta — “Open-air day trip”
  • Campagna — “Countryside”
  • Scampagnata — “Countryside excursion
  • Fuori porta — “Out-of-town”
  • Colomba di Pasqua — “Easter Dove cake”
  • Frittata — “Omelet”
  • Asparagi — “Asparagus”

To hear each word pronounced, check out our Italian Easter Monday vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

What do you think of Easter in Italy? Are Easter celebrations similar (or different) in your country? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about Italian culture and the language, visit us at ItalianPod101.com. We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and an online community where you can discuss lessons with other Italian learners. By creating a Premium Plus account, you can also take advantage of our MyTeacher program, and learn Italian with your own personal Italian teacher!

All of your determination and hard work will pay off, and before you know it, you’ll be speaking Italian like a native. ItalianPod101.com will be here with effective learning materials—and tons of support—throughout your language-learning journey.

Best wishes, and Buona Pasqua (Happy Easter in Italian)! Enjoy some Italian Easter cookies, Italian Easter bread, and Italian Easter pie for us! 😉

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