Christians all over the world brought in the holy week recently. The week leading to the Easter Sunday comprises three major days -Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday), The Good Friday and the Easter Sunday- also fondly called the Easter triduum.
Maundy Thursday or the Holy Thursday is a day of feast. It commemorates the Maundy or foot washing of Jesus and The Last Supper with his apostles. A religious holiday, the Good Friday marks the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his eventual death. Even though it is a day of grief and sadness, it is called the Good Friday, thus marking hope and light.
According to the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus was arrested by the temple guards. Judas, his follower, betrayed him for 30 silver coins and informed the temple guards to capture whomsoever he kissed. Crucified on Friday, Jesus resurrected the following Sunday, thus restoring the faith in divine. According to the Gospel of John in the New Testament, Mary Magdalene came to Jesus' grave and found it empty. An angel then informed her that Jesus had risen.
Christians all over the world observe lent for a period of 42 days before the resurrection Sunday. The faithful resort to fasting or different forms of giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence. The Lent is observed as a period of prayer, atonement and repentance. “I have given up on Non-Veg this lent. Its my little way of paying my respects. It is very person specific. Different people give up different things,” says Mark Menezes.
Sunday is a non-working day in most countries, thus Easter is one occasion when families, friends and loved ones come together. The day starts with a vigil mass (Prayer offering) on the preceding Saturday. Though it falls on the first Sunday, after the first full moon, post the March equinox, it is a movable feast. However different denominations of the Church have different beliefs.
Lent ends with the Easter Sunday. Thus food on Easter is always a serious affair. Homes are decorated, elaborate preparations done, masses attended and joy spread. After all it is a day of celebration!
The egg is never as glorified as it is on the day of Easter. Revered for being the first step into life, families decorate and exchange well decorated Easter eggs, in ode to the Jesus' rebirth. Ancient churches banned Christians from consuming eggs during lent and thus it became a festive food during the Easter Sunday. Decorating eggs is considered to be the best bonding time by many around the world. Easter eggs are bright, vibrant and colourful. There are various versions to a traditional Easter egg; Marzipan and chocolate being two of them. Other traditionally Easter delicacies include hot cross buns, simnel cakes- a light fruit cake, egg roles and roast lamb.
Communities all around the world celebrate Easter in different styles and over the years a more modern approach to the day of feast has been developed. While some have social gatherings, some believe in the Easter egg tree.
As we welcome in Easter this Sunday, we have a look at a few places in Mumbai to source out Easter delicacies.