“I do believe that if your culture or tradition doesn't have the specific ritual you are craving, then you are absolutely permitted to make up a ceremony of your own devising, fixing your own broken-down emotional systems with all the do-it-yourself resourcefulness of a generous plumber/poet.“ - Elizabeth Gilbert, “Eat, Pray, Love”
Easter, the most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church is held (in the Western Church) between 21 March and 25 April, on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern spring equinox. It is a time of rituals passed on from generation to generation, from family to family. And as much as it represents the resurrection of Christ, for me as a Northern European it has always felt like the resurrection of life itself – the rebirth of nature with all its colours and warmth and outdoor freedom after the long, dark winter months.
The Power of Ceremonies #
“We do spiritual ceremonies as human beings in order to create a safe resting place for our most complicated feelings of joy or trauma, so that we don't have to haul those feelings around with us forever, weighing us down. We all need such places of ritual safekeeping”, writes Elizabeth Gilbert in her book “Eat, Pray, Love”. Rituals are a form of solace. The older and more established in our society or family they are, the more they become like an emotional anchor for us. Things that have always been in a certain way will always stay that way, we think. They make us feel things are predictable in the long term.
And now this: In these difficult times where, under the yoke of the coronavirus, we are locked up in our houses, and where to have this kind of reassurance would be more important than ever, all the official celebrations are cancelled. This year, there will be no procession neither in Palma nor in the villages and towns around Mallorca. There won’t be any mass in the cathedral or in any church on the island.
Although it is impossible to replace these cherished festivities and replicate the feeling of togetherness a real life experience can offer, there is the solace of online and television offers. Here are some examples of events you that might be of interest for you:
Follow Menorca's Mass Services (Mallorca has suspended service)
The Bishop of Mallorca will hold Streaming Mass Celebrations via IB3 television channel:
- April 5th Palm Sunday when Jesus enters Jersulem at 10:30am TDT
- April 8th Holy Wednesday (normally there are processions) 7pm TDT
- April 9th Maundy Thursday – Washing of the Feet & Last Supper at 7pm TDT
- April 10th Good Friday commemorating the Calvary and Crusifixtion 7pm streaming
- April 11th Holy Saturday Vigil 9:30pm streaming
- April 12th Easter Sunday celebrating the Resurection 10:30am TDT
To get an idea of what Easter on Mallorca is like in a “normal” year, please read this article by our writer Cas Dallamore>>
A Message of Hope #
The fact that all official events have been cancelled this year doesn’t mean you have to go without. It only means you have to be a bit more creative.
Set Up an Alternative Family Meeting
Most probably, in your family you have your own traditions and specific ways to make Easter special. And if you are split apart due to lockdown and cannot gather around a table, I encourage you to make use of the possibilities modern means of communication have to offer. Many families have their own group chat on platforms like WhatsApp, but did you know it is very easy to set up a video group call? Just open the group, click on the three dots in the top righthand corner, click on the phone+ symbol, add the members of your group you want to have in the call and then click the video symbol. Or use a conference platform like Zoom (they have a free trial version which might be good enough for your purposes). Of course, this is not the real thing. But you will see it is not altogether bad as a second best. Have an Easter call and talk about all the things you will do together once this is over. For more, read full article>>
Read the Easter Story
To all the grandmas and granddads out there: You can reach out to your grandkids! Set yourself up in your favourite reading chair and, on a video call, read the Easter Story to them. Remember this is a message of hope! Yes, we are all going through a time of hardship and sacrifice. But resurrection will come.
Create a Memory Board
Whether you are living in a family or alone, you will probably have a set of own rituals and ways to celebrate special moments in your life. Now that we have to do without the usual Easter framework of events and activities that would take us outdoors, the moment has come to create new forms of celebration. How about going through your photo albums and creating a memory board of happy Easter moments from when you grew up till now.
A Family Ritual: The Battle of the Eggs #
As a child, I looked forward to Easter almost more than to Christmas. True, there were no presents, BUT there were many compensations: a lovely new flowery dress to wear, a hunt for Easter eggs hidden in the garden by the Bunny with a capital B (and I never questioned why it was a rabbit rather than a hen who had brought the treasures overnight) and, most of all, the Battle of the Eggs. And not only the children looked forward to it! And this is how it went: On Easter Sunday morning, a basked filled to the brim with coloured, hard-boiled eggs would wait on the breakfast table for us warriors. Everybody took one out and challenged the others to try and crush it. What may sound like a matter of brutal strength proved a test of clever techniques. Whether you presented tip or tail, attacked yourself or waited the blow and absorbed the impact by ever so gently moving your wrist … it was a confrontation of wills and skills - a mix of sword duel and poker game. The winner bagged his opponent’s egg and, with his winning egg, dared the next person around the table. And the looser? Well, there were so many eggs in the basket – you simply took a new one out, and on the battle went. If you were good at it, you ended up with a big pile of hard-boiled eggs on your plate – and of course you ate them all. So, for me Easter is closely linked to the slightly nauseous feeling of having eaten too many hard-boiled eggs … A tip from an expert: if you dip them in mustard they are easier to swallow.
How to colour the eggs? Easy! Put onion peel in the boiling water for yellow; add beetroot for a lovely purple,s gentian violet extract (from the pharmacy) for deep blue and spinach leaves for green. If you wash the eggs in vinegar water before boiling them the colours will be more intense. Don’t forget to drill a hole into each egg with a needle before boiling so they won’t crack. Rubbing the eggs with the wrapping paper of a piece of butter will give them a lovely sheen.
Share Your Own Rituals and Traditions #
If you have an Easter ritual or tradition that can either be practised as it is despite the corona shutdown or be adapted to fit, please share with us. Simply send us a message, preferably with a photo or two. Please note that by submitting you have agreed to give consent to use your pictures and texts at the discretion of the editorial staff of Affordable Mallorca. If used at a later date, they will be properly attributed to the person who created them. We will post your ideas on our website.
- Please send your photo(s) to [email protected]
- Give us your name and write a few words explaining what your photo(s) are about, where they were taken and how they represent your dream or vision.
- If you don’t have a picture to go with it, just describe your vision in max 250 words.
- Horizontal/landscape photos only can be published.
- All photos must be the sole property of the person submitting. By submitting, you agree to allow Affordable Mallorca to post your photos at their discretion.
#EasterOnMallorca #Covid19 #coronavirus
By Ulla Rahn-Huber
6 April, 2020