Culture

A different kind of Easter – Special Latin American & Faroese Easter traditions

Local.fo has had the opportunity to talk to some foreigners living in the Faroe Islands, who originally come from the following Latin American countries: Mexico, Colombia, Chile and El Salvador.

Local.fo asked them to name a couple of Latin American, as well as Faroese Easter traditions.

Here’s what they replied.

Latin American Easter traditions:

1) Ash Wednesday
The Ash Wednesday celebrations mark the beginning of the Lent, when Jesus went to the desert to pray. It symbolizes that believers are preparing for Easter. On this day, all Catholic filigrees go to the morning mass and get marked with a cross of ash on their forehead.

2) The representation of the Passion of Jesus Christ:
During the Holy Week, there are several processions and representations of the entrance to Jerusalem, the crucifixion, the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Many people participate and get dressed as Biblical characters and thousands of people attend every procession.

3) Figures made with salt:
People from various communities and neighborhoods gather together in the streets to draw the different stages of the passion of Christ. All the figures are made with salt that has been previously painted, as well as fruits.

4) Red meat a no-go:
In most of Latin America there is the belief that you are not allowed to eat red meat during the Holy Week – only fish or any other meat-free dish.

5) Is that a chocolate egg?
In El Salvador and Colombia, chocolate Easter eggs do not exist. Most of the countries in Latin America empty real eggs and then they paint them and fill them up with paper to break them afterwards.

Faroese Easter traditions:

1) Yes, that’s is a chocolate egg:
The supermarkets are full of chocolate eggs. More often than not, families buy one egg for every child in the house, but the children are “not allowed” to eat the egg until Easter. Needless to say, there is no age restriction for chocolate lovers, so everyone is welcome to enjoy a chocolate egg.

2) Are we meeting for Easter dinner:
Families in the Faroe Islands try to get together during the Holy Week, but the religiosity really depends on every person and their beliefs.

A Faroe Islander, who wants to remain anonymous, said, “Easter dinner is just like Christmas but without the gifts”. Some Faroese people decide to have duck and potatoes for dinner. This menu is very similar to the Faroese Christmas dinner, but duck and potatoes on the menu is not necessarily the Easter-norm for every Faroese family, and there are no restrictions on the menu (i.e. see #4, Latin American Easter traditions).

However, while there are no food restrictions, live music is banned during parts of the Holy Week in the Faroe Islands.

3) Faroe Islands does not have Catholicism as an official religion:
The traditions seen in parts of Europe and all over Latin America cannot really be seen in the Faroe Islands.

4) Let’s roll the eggs:
On Easter Monday, Faroese families boil & paint eggs. The parents then take the kids to a hillside and together they roll eggs for as long as possible before they finally eat them.

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