Happy Easter from The Grand Tour!
We wanted to wish you Buona Pasqua.
In Italy, Pasqua is an important festival in the Italian calendar. The weather is starting to warm up, the days are longer and the flowers are in bloom.
The Easter Story
Starting on Palm Sunday (14th April 2019), is the Sunday before Easter. Palm Sunday is the first day of Holy Week, when Christians remember Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey. The name Palm Sunday comes from the people that took palm and olive branches that lined the road, waving them in the air shouting ‘Hosanna’ meaning ‘God saves’ in Hebrew, palms leaves and coats were put on the rocky road, making it easier for the donkey.
Maundy Thursday (18th April 2019) is the day that Jesus had his last meal with his followers before he was killed. Known as ‘The Last Supper’, the meal followed the Jewish Passover of roast lamb and unleavened bread (matzah) with red wine. The wine and the bread were given a special meaning, the wine symbolised his blood and the bread his body to help his followers to remember that through the death of Jesus, our sins are forgiven.
Before eating, Jesus washed the feet of his friends, teaching the disciples about serving and helping others. Jesus also washed the feet of Judas, who would later betray him. During the time of Jesus, people would wear open toe sandals and the feet would get dirty because the streets were dusty. During this time, people would lounge with the feet of the person sitting next to them close to the head of the next person, so washing people’s feet was very common. Feet washing was usually done by the lowest servant, who would tend to get the worst jobs.
Maundy comes from the Latin word for ‘command’. At the Last Supper, Jesus told them – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34)
After the meal, Jesus and some friends went to the garden of Gethsemene to pray and it was here, later in the evening, that Judas betrayed Jesus and he was arrested and taken to trial by the Romans.
Good Friday is the day that is remembered for the Crucifixion of Jesus. Jesus was mocked and beaten, a crown of thorns was put on his head. He was made to carry his cross up the hill. Jesus was then tied and nailed by the wrists and the feet to a large wooden cross and left to die in front of a crowd. Jesus suffered for 6 hours of the cross before he died. He was taken from the cross, wrapped in burial robes and laid to rest in a donated tomb that was sealed with a massive stone. On Holy Saturday, as the city returned to normal, the friends and family of Jesus mourned.
Easter Sunday is a day of celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Mary Magdalene, a follower of Jesus, along with some other women went to the tomb. When they got to the tomb, they saw that the stone had been rolled away and that Jesus’ body was missing. The women left to tell the other disciples what had happened, but Mary Magdalene stayed. Mary was crying and someone asked “why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”, thinking it was the gardener Mary asked him “If you took Jesus’ body away, please tell me where he is so i can go and see him”. The Man said “Mary”, and as she turned to look at the man, she realised it was Jesus. She wanted to hug him, but Jesus said “Don’t hold on to me, because I have not gone back to heaven yet. But go and tell my disciples that I am going back to heaven.” Mary returned to the disciples and told them that Jesus was alive.
Read a little more or book tours
Read our blog post about Easter in Rome here! Easter in Rome
Book our tour of Milan where Leonardo da Vinci’s famous ‘Last Supper’ is – Private Half Day Guided Walking Tour of Milan
Explore the amazing Vatican – Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter’s Basilica tour
Discover the wonderful works of Caravaggio – Caravaggio in Rome: Truth and Faith