Travel Picks: Top 10 places to celebrate Easter
NEW YORK (Reuters) - For those of you observing Lent, the long slog of abstinence and reflection that also coincides with the last of the winter chill in the northern hemisphere will soon be over with the chocolate, feasting and springtime blooms of Easter. In celebration, Cheapflights.com (www.cheapflights.com) has come up with a list of top 10 places to celebrate Easter. Reuters has not endorsed this list:
1. Virtuous in Argentina
Easter Sunday in Argentina consists of consuming and sharing eggs as well as the special Easter cake, Rosca de Pascua. Tradition holds that people exchange eggs not only with their family, but also with friends and colleagues and the day culminates in attending mass followed by a big family gathering involving lots of food. Argentinians tend to celebrate Jesus' resurrection with a huge barbecue and a treasure hunt organized by the local governments in the main cities, so that everyone has a chance to participate.
The Greek Orthodox Church follows the Byzantine calendar, so this year's Orthodox Easter Sunday takes place on April 15. In Athens, Good Friday marks the first main event where a replica of Christ's tomb is carried through town. The most sacred of Easter events takes place the following day when people flock to churches at midnight carrying unlit candles which they light from the Holy Flame and walk through town enjoying a glorious display of fireworks, bells and jubilation. Easter Sunday's menu comprises spit-fire roast lamb and lots of colored eggs. In the Orthodox tradition, you knock eggs with your neighbor attempting to crack theirs to bring yourself good fortune.
Visitors will notice the ornately decorated streets, shops and restaurants filled with all things Easter from bunnies to chocolate, painted eggs and even live baby chicks in some places. Good Friday is marked by mass. Easter Sunday is a huge celebration where absolutely everyone goes to church. After taking communion, the 40-day fast comprising a strictly vegan diet, is broken with a feast featuring lamb and lots of egg breaking. Get your hands on the delicious Easter sweets called Maamoul. These are little cookies made with a mixture of semolina and butter then stuffed with either dates or ground sugared nuts and dusted with icing sugar.
Easter in Scotland is a mostly laid-back event. The Scots do the traditional things commonly associated with Easter like attending mass and having a big meal, but they also add a bit of fun, particularly for the kids. Easter fun here is all about eggs. After they're boiled and painted in all kinds of colors and designs, they're taken to the park hills for rolling on Easter Sunday. While it may just sound like playtime for the kids, the event is very symbolic as it is carried out to represent the rolling away of stones on Jesus' tomb thereby assisting in His resurrection. Continued...