Personally, I always look forward to Easter. Two extra days off mean I can escape from this country. I was in Italy last year, and this year I was supposed to be there too. I can almost smell the aroma of fresh pizza that's just been pulled out of the oven, hear the "pop" of a bottle of prosecco being opened and feel the taste of pistachio ice cream melting on my tongue. This year, the eggs will most likely grow bitter in my mouth...
Those who aren't used to heading out of the country for the long weekend they've been dreaming of at least spend the time off at their cottage. In a circle of acquaintances, family and friends, wine or plum brandy keeps flowing, the women are baking cross buns and lambs, the men are weawing wicker whips and then merrily chasing everything that has a skirt with their decorated sticks.
Us women are laughing, hoping it won't hurt too much, and if it does, then at least the superstition that we would "dry up" without getting whisked won't come true this year. In general, Easter is a great reason to get drunk and binge on food – what's not to love?
Forget about the Easter whipping
This year, unfortunately, Easter traditions will see some changes. Although there are a lot of people who don't take the deadly virus seriously enough and repeatedly violate government orders, there are also a lot of people who are simply afraid. One politician even said on TV that if someone came to his house on an Easter egg hunt, he wouldn't open the door because he'd be afraid of getting infected. I believe it scared a lot of people to the point that there will be no whipping at all this year.
The question is whether this fear is in place or not. I honestly don't know. After all, when a neighbor's child comes over on an Easter egg hunt, wearing a face mask, it doesn't mean we automatically infect each other. Yes, people shouldn't be gathering in large groups that go from house to house, hugging each other and drinking plum brandy for hours upon hours until they pass out, I do see a certain risk of infection there. But we've been in quarantine for quite some time, thus meeting our closest family for a good lunch could be harmless.
For example, a friend of mine has been with her family at their cottage for several weeks already, and even though they miss social contact, they aren't holding big parties. They break down visits into days. The only thing about these meetups resembling Easter will be the decorations on the windows and the table.
They may bury some Easter eggs for their children in the garden, but that's about it.
The whole country is baking
Vendors selling easter lambs, cross buns or stuffing have suffered a huge decline in the population's interest in these products, which normally sell like hot cakes this time of year. This is, in my opinion, either because people have simply decided not to celebrate this year, or because they all have so much free time that the prefer to bake everything themselves, often at the expense of wasted material or ruined kitchen. That is why yeast now belongs to hard-to-get goods.
Watch out for the lamb!
Those who don't know this tradition will learn something new today! A friend of mine told me about it years ago. Every year, it is necessary to give yourself and your loved ones (in my case only me) a new piece of clothing on Easter Sunday. Otherwise you might get pooped on by an Easter lamb. This is probably the only tradition I'll stick to this year; I've ordered a beautiful summer skirt online and I hope there will be an opportunity to wear it. Of course, I'll sew myself a face mask in the same color, that's a given.