Easter Monday, known as la Pasquetta in Italy, literally means little Easter. It is also known as ‘Lunedì dell’Angelo‘ (‘Monday of the Angel’) – the day to remember the Blessed Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene visiting the Holy Sepulchre, finding it empty, and being comforted by an angel.
After the solemn season of Lent with fasting, giving of alms and prayer and the religious intensity of Holy Week, everyone in Italy looks forward to the day after Easter. Easter Monday, although, an official national holiday in Italy, is not a holy day of obligation.
And as the Italian saying goes, Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuo (“Christmas with family, Easter with whoever you like”), it is a time to spend with friends. This is a time for community and for many it means picnics! Italians pack up their cars with friends and food and leave the cities in droves. They head to the beach, the mountains or the country.
The whole point of this day is to get out of doors and celebrate the return of Spring!