Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter time

For me, Easter in the US is all about eggs, bunnies, baskets, candy, and stuffing our selves on feasts that have tables and bellies groaning under the weight of family favorites. 

In contrast, Easter in the Philippines, was a lot more somber and mired in religiosity.

Easter Season starts with the 40 day observance of Lent, a period of fasting and abstinence. 
It marked a time for reflection and penance, just as Jesus spent alone in the wilderness 
before starting his ministry. 

Pre-Vatican II this also meant no meat on Fridays. In our sleepy little provincial home town, businesses would shut down and most folks remained quietly praying at home or in church. 

The day before, known as Mardi Gras or Shrove Tuesday, a last hurrah of food and fun, 
signified the start of Lent. 

The week preceding Easter is called Holy Week, which begins with Palm Sunday or Passion 

This includes Maundy Thursday, commemorating Jesus’ last supper with his disciples; 
Good Fridayhonoring the day of his crucifixion; and Holy Saturday, focusing on the 
transition between the crucifixion and resurrection. 

In our hometown, families deck out generations old silver encrusted floats [carrozasupon which are mounted precious family saints [santos], dressed up in all their glory. 

These are paraded through the streets in candle lit processions through the town plaza, usually 
culminating at the parish cathedral. 

*Silay procession images courtesy of our sister, Baba Torre. 

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