The Historic French Quarter Easter Parade
#The Lowdown

Top Five Cities For Easter

By Travel Savvy

While many believe Christmas is the most important holiday in the liturgical calendar, it is actually Easter! Religious denominations throughout the world gather during this time to celebrate resurrection of Jesus Christ and salvation. If organized religion isn't your cup of tea, who doesn't enjoy festitivies with cute spring animal decor?

Get into the spirit this coming season by traveling to one of our favorite Easter destinations. From Europe to South America, you're invited to partake in unique celebrations that are deeply rooted in culture, cuisine, and tradition.

Vatican 1

Photo Credit: www.timesofisrael.com

Rome

Journey to the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church this Easter season and partake in the deeply rooted traditions of Vatican City – home of Pope Francis, St. Peter’s Basilica, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and other renowned Renaissance masterpieces. Since Italy’s population is 80% Catholic, the streets of Rome come alive with flowers, greenery and excitement as Holy Week, the last week before Easter, begins. Both Roman citizens and visitors alike are invited to masses lead by Pope Francis in Vatican Square to celebrate each day of Holy Week and Easter Sunday.

If you’re looking to explore Rome’s vast history and culture while visiting - you’re in luck! The majority of museums and sights are open on Easter Sunday. While Easter Monday is not a day of a religious significance, it is a public holiday in Italy. This is when the more secular festivities take place, including dances, concerts, food, and games (involving Easter eggs, of course!)

Antigua 2

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Antigua

Rituals and processions and cultural celebrations! Oh my! Antigua, Guatemala is certainly on our list of places to visit during Eastertime. Home to a large population of Catholics, this destination is home to one of the largest Easter celebrations in the world, starting on Palm Sunday.

The most notable aspects of this city are the colorful carpets that adorn the streets during this time. Residents of Antigua prepare these carpets several weeks before the festivities by leveling the ground and laying different shades of sawdust. Make no mistake, these carpet designs are not just for the aesthetics! They are also highly symbolic – the tedious and time-consuming work of carpet making is a sacrificial act because they are created only to be destroyed.

Easter season in Antigua is certainly a must-see event for any Catholic looking to experience different traditions.

he Historic French Quarter Easter Parade 3

Photo Credit: www.theadvocate.com

New Orleans

It’s no surprise that the “Big Easy” is planning big parades for Easter. New Orleans’ vibrant culture takes on a Catholic twist during this religious season with three parades, starting with The Historic French Quarter Easter Parade at 9:45AM sharp on Easter Sunday.

As people line the streets, mule-drawn carriages and vintage convertibles hand out trinkets and Easter bunnies to the kids. Later around 1:00PM, the Chris Owens French Quarter Easter Parade begins as singer, dancer and entertainer Chris Owens (you guessed it!) takes on the role of the Grand Duchess.

Lastly, the Gay Easter Parade begins around 4:30PM. This family-friendly procession takes the community on a leisurely route through the French Quarter passing many gay-owned shops and restaurants.

Semana Santa 4

Photo Credit: www.elconfidencial.com

Madrid

Semana Santa is coming up --  Sunday. Holy Thursday is often marked by a visit to the cathedral Colegiata de San Isidro where people carry out the religious statues of Virgin Maria Santisima de la Esperanza and Jesus del Gran Poder on their shoulders.

The celebration doesn’t stop there! Good Friday includes a Procession of Silence where people join in a tour that moves from the Church of Santisimo Cristo de la Fe and finishes at the Basilica del Cristo de Medinaceli. The weeklong celebration ends with a bang as drummers fill Plaza Mayor on Easter Sunday. Don’t forget to pack your walking shoes!

Athenian Easter 5

Photo Credit: www.whyathens.com

Athens

Why spend Easter in Greece? Aside from the mere reason that you will be in Athens, one of the most beautiful and culturally significant places in the world, it will also offer you a truly unique Easter experience. Among the many different church services and sites you can see and partake in, we recommend going to Agios Georgios (St. George) on Lycabettus.

Here you will become one with Athens as members of the church unite in one sacred purpose – candle in hand, of course! Afterwards you will gaze upon the whole of Athens as the sky lights up with dozens of fireworks! You won't want to miss this jaw-dropping Easter experience!

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