A very Happy Easter from Lotus UK and its clients celebrating across the world
As we approach the long Easter weekend, the team at Lotus UK is looking forward to a break and thinking about how the rest of the world is celebrating. Here’s a sneak peak about what happens in our clients’ destinations in the UK, USA, Italy, Finland and Spain:
In the small Italian region of Liguria, the locals take Easter very seriously, celebrating with processions, banquets and traditional feasts. One of the best places to be is Liguria’s capital, Genoa. People crowd the streets to watch the religious processions that take place leading up to Easter Sunday. Statues of Mary and Jesus are paraded to and from churches, and the streets are laden with palm and olive branches.
Pasqualina cake is a traditional Ligurian dish eaten at Easter. Made with layers of dough and filled with vegetables, mainly beetroot and artichokes, eggs, cheese and herbs. Legends goes that housewives traditionally had to have 30 layers in the cakes to match Jesus’ age. For more information: www.turismoinliguria.it
Semana Santa, in the week leading up to Easter, is one of the key cultural events in Spain each year. Most Spanish cities, towns and villages have their own unique, centuries-old traditions that combine religious and festive events in the lead up to Easter.
Some of the grandest processions take place in Andalucia, particularly Malaga and Seville, and involve a whole week of parades and special services. Malaga hosts some of Spain’s livelier processions, where instead of meditation and silence, cheer, applause and spontaneous saetas (flamenco verses) are heard as the tronos (platforms bearing holy images) pass. The dramatic Easter celebrations in Seville are organised by over 50 different brotherhoods, which carry life-sized pasos (sculptural representations of events from Christ’s Passion) from Seville’s churches to the Cathedral. For more information: www.spain.info.
Fort Myers & Sanibel, Florida
Enormous Easter egg hunts are the focus in the States over Easter. It’s a tradition that’s particularly taken off in Florida, who once scooped the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest Easter egg hunt with 10,000 people hunting down half a million eggs in one hour. For a truly Floridian Easter exploration Adventures in Paradise (www.adventureinparadiseinc.com) is running a dolphin cruise and Easter egg hunt. This takes place in San Carlos Bay just off the Fort Myers coastline on Easter Sunday. For more information: www.fortmyers-sanibel.com
Finnish Easter traditions mix religious references with customs related to the long-awaited arrival of spring. In the most popular family tradition, young children (especially girls) dress up as Easter witches, donning colourful old clothes. The little witches then go from door to door, bringing willow twigs decorated with colourful feathers and crepe paper as blessings to drive away evil spirits. The witches recite a traditional rhyme at the door: Virvon, varvon, tuoreeks terveeks, tulevaks vuodeks; vitsa sulle, palkka mulle! (I wave a twig for a fresh and healthy year ahead; a twig for you, a treat for me!)
Many Finnish householders keep a basket of small chocolate Easter eggs ready by the door to pay off the marauding witches. Other families reward them with sweets or small change – or keep their front doors resolutely closed.
As Easter approaches, Finnish children also plant grass seeds in shallow dishes of soil and place birch twigs in vases of water, and watch eagerly for green shoots and “mouse-ear” buds to appear symbolising the springtime reawakening of life. For more information: www.visitfinland.com
This Easter, Guernsey is running the Easter Festival of Living History at Castle Cornet. From Good Friday to Easter Monday, there will be live storytelling of Guernsey’s past ranging from the tragic story of the Stella shipwreck in 1899 to the narrow escape of Admiral Saumarez in 1794. Each day there is a guided tour of Castle Cornet, with historical characters such as Admiral Saumarez, General Brock and General Lambert wandering around in full costume. Even a medieval surgeon will set up camp to tell visitors about this essential but gory trade and there will be regency dancers all over the castle.
On Easter Sunday many of the islander’s head to Forest Church for the Easter service. This is followed by an Easter egg hunt around the parish. For an Easter lunch, locals and visitors head to the Old Government House Hotel (www.theoghhotel.com) in St. Peter Port which has a special Easter menu including Guernsey crab cigarillos, spiced nut and honey crusted rack of lamb and caramelised onion and thyme tart and there is a special Easter surprise for dessert! For more information: www.visitguernsey.com
All Aboard the Alaska Railroad Easter Train!
Departing from Alaska’s wilderness city, Anchorage, a special Easter Train (alaskarailroad.com) runs along the famous Alaska Railroad over the holiday weekend, which is fitting as Alaska is known for offering some of the world’s most spectacular rail journeys. Departing from the Historic Anchorage Downtown Depot, the Easter Train takes in breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean as it travels along Alaska’s famed Coastal Trail. The USA’s official holiday mascot, the Easter bunny, hops aboard every year for the ride and there’s also a magician and plenty of chocolate eggs along the way. For more information: www.fortmyers-sanibel.com
Images from left to right:
1. Abriendo Mentes, Costa Rica, Copyright KateHood.com
2. Nuevas Esperanzas, Nicaragua
3. Vidarte Space, Brazil