By Marisa Fernandez - Buenos Aires, Argentina
By Marisa Fernandez – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Argentina is the largest second country in South America that follows Roman Catholicism as its religion. Although Argentinians do not practice very much, they celebrate all the Christian festivals with enthusiasm and joy.
Easter is the most significant feast for Christians all over the world. Catholics believe that Jesus Christ was resurrected after having been crucified by the Romans, and having given up his life to cleanse all people’s sins and to save us from eternal fire in hell.
As such, Easter is a two-week celebration carried out with several Holy processions, pilgrimage, masses, and the Via Crucis (the way Jesus walked with the cross on His shoulders). It begins on Palm Sunday and runs through to Holy Sunday and it is referred to as Holy Week.
Similar to other countries, Argentina has its own traditional celebration for the occasion. Many religious people take a pilgrimage to the city of Tandil where there is a Via Crucis while walking up a hill. In many towns and villages there are re-enactments of various events in the life of Jesus Christ. On Good Friday (the day when Jesus died), people do not eat meat, and some fast all day.
Others combine this four-day long week with a holiday. Most commercial shops conduct business, but school and State offices are closed. Easter is a favorite occasion for families and friends to gather and celebrate the Resurrection with roast lamb as a traditional meal. Once the great meal is over, people give hollow chocolate eggs as gifts. For dessert they have ring-shaped bread topped with candies, sugar or pastry cream.
The celebration of death and coming to life again of Jesus leaves the message that new life is possible due to His sacrifice as the Lamb of God.
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