Easter is one of my favorite holidays if not truly my favorite. Even as a kid I loved to dress up with a new dress and hat and go to Easter Mass. I always wanted the Easter Bunny to stop at my house but hardly ever did. In our Italian culture, the Easter Bunny didn’t exist. To compensate I would get a big Chocolate Easter Egg with a surprise in the middle from my father. These eggs are very popular in Italy and since my father at the time had an Italian specialty shop he sold a lot during Easter.
Can’t say I really loved the chocolate because they were all bittersweet chocolate eggs. Today, you can find milk chocolate, white chocolate, and a much better choice than bittersweet for a kid.
I relate to Easter as “bittersweet”. I loved the symbolism behind Easter, a time of renewal – a time of rebirth. The season of letting go of the past and dreaming of what the future will bring.
Saddened by the events occurring in Holy Week when Jesus died on the Cross for our salvation it was also a joyous time when he rose on Easter Sunday.
During Easter I reflect a lot on the ones that have passed on my life. Again, it saddens me but then I believe in the resurrection and get comfort believing that they are in a special place. I think about my grandmother, my aunt and how they used to bake the Easter breads, cook the goat – yes we eat goat, and the other good stuff on Sunday. Thankfully my mother is still keeping these traditions alive and I chronicle them.
Our Easter “tavola” is not 20-30 anymore, more like 8-10. We still get together and luckily I can still celebrate with the same cousins I celebrated with since I was born. We get to share with their kids our tradition and yes the Easter Bunny visits them; fortunately not with “bittersweet” chocolate.
Sometimes when I bite into a chocolate on Easter I think about the bittersweet eggs and sometimes long for it. It reminds me that life is bittersweet especially at Easter time. I count my blessings everyday and appreciate all the great things in my life, especially my family. I might just buy that bittersweet egg to remind me of my culture that made me who I am; and to remind me that life is just that – bitter and sweet at the same time!
Buona Pasqua a Tutti!