Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter - Chocolate treats, Church & the Ku Klux Clan

For me, Easter has always been about bunnies, chocolate and travel - it's the next best thing to Christmas with a license to treat my sweet tooth, but around the world, Easter Celebrations take on different forms.

$1.9 billion is spent on Easter candy in America alone. Imagine how many Easter eggs are consumed around the world! But this Easter I decided to see another side to Easter.
St Paul's Cathedral in London, like many other churches, have prayer and music. If you've attended a service, you will know that it is a beautiful venue filled with peace and intellectual stimulation. On Good Friday, the most solemn day of the Church year, their 2011 afternoon service was called The Poetry of the Passion which included poems from Emily Dickinson, music from Henry Purcell and a choir that was operatic in its performance.
I'm not a church goer but I do enjoy what St Paul's offers. Last year they did a series of debates on love, death, suffering and happiness. This Sunday the Easter service continues and the 11.30am service includes 'Coronation Mass' by Mozart. 

Fast Facts
  • The current St Paul's was built by Sir Christopher Wren between 1675 - 1710.
  • It is the fourth church to occupy this site, the first on 604AD. 
  • It was the venue for Sir Winston Churchill's funeral, the 80th and 100th birthdays of the Queen Mother, and the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
A small donation can often be made at the end of each service.

The gardens around St Paul's are stunning with flowers and people relaxing in the sun and playing in the fountain. They are worth a visit.

Videos of St Paul's services including the series of debates on love, death, suffering and happiness is available on

Spanish Holy Week
In the week before Easter, there are processions across the country of men dressed in robes, conical tips and hoods like the Ku Klux Klan, who adopted it from the medieval costume for penitents. They carry crosses and candles with drums and other instruments to signal their arrival. 

In Malaga, where I first experienced Holy Week, the audience is made up of families and tourists,. The processions are made up of dozens if not hundreds of people occurring throughout the day and night. Our hotel provided us with details such as times and locations.

Other Easter Celebrations Around the World
  • For some weird Easter traditions, see this 2009 article from
Easter is a time to embrace chocolate, religion and family, whatever you fancy, to treat yourself, appreciate the idea that we have a holiday, but above all to be happy, healthy and safe through this festive period. 

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