Happy Easter! He is risen!!
I meant to get this post up last week but I'm still figuring out how to juggle getting work done (that big project I've been hinting at is going to be so worth the wait!) while chasing two toddlers and caring for a newborn:)
Easter is so special in Croatia... we have friends here who are believers and friends who are agnostic but still take part with their families in many of the traditions during Veliki Tjedan, "Big Week." As an American, it has been amazing to see Christ's resurrection celebrated so unabashedly and joyously in the streets, homes and churches! Here are some of the Easter traditions to give you a taste of what it's been like here...
Palm Sunday is translated here as "Flower Sunday." Olive branches are sold throughout the markets and brought to church to be blessed to be kept in the home all year. There's also an old custom for each family member to wash their faces with flower water to celebrate new life.
Croatian pisanice (Easter eggs) are hand-made masterpieces. I bought so many from the market. Gracie broke so many from the market ;)
One of my favorite parts about Holy Week in Croatia is the Križni put, "Way of the Cross." A cross-bearer leads the way as you walk behind, contemplating the events of Good Friday and singing the Lamentation of the Virgin Mary. I got up early, put Georgia back to sleep and went solo to the one you see above. We're not Catholic, and I only understood about half of the vocabulary, but I am so glad I got to be there! On the night of Good Friday, we missed the kids' bedtimes to go to the Zagreb Cathedral for it's version. The screaming children at the end of the service were ours, sorrrrryyy. In Dalmatia, especially on the islands, the Way of the Cross is known as Za križen, "Following the Cross," and the procession goes through the night over many miles.
There is also a tradition to drink the family-made red wine through the night to think on Christ's blood shed.
Ham, spring onions, radishes, young cheese, eggs and this sweet aromatic bread called pinca are the special foods for Easter.
Zagreb also had free concerts in some of the most beautiful churches in the city. Cam and I (and sweet Georgia!) got to spend a night listening to Bach's St John Passion fill the barely lit Zagreb Cathedral. It was beyond words and has gone down as one of our most favorite experiences in Croatia.
I hope you all had a joyous week! xox