How Easter is celebrated in different European countries and a Classical Italian Easter Table

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Across Europe, the traditions for decorating an Easter table blend the universal themes of renewal, spring, and religious observance with local customs and regional flavors. The focus is on gathering with family and friends to celebrate, with decorations that reflect the joy and beauty of the season.

An Italian Easter table often reflect the country's rich cultural heritage and the spirit of renewal, along with family traditions and local gourmet food. The table must be served on the best porcelain pieces, mostly decorated with floral motifs and some golden or silver décor, transparent glasses for the red wine and water, and silver-plated tableware.


Here the traditional elements you might find in a classical Italian Easter table setting:

  • Pastel Colors: The table often features pastel colors, reflecting the spring season. Soft shades of yellow, green, pink, and blue dominate, evoking the blooming flowers of springtime.


  • Floral Arrangements: Flowers are a very desirable element, with arrangements often including spring flowers like daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths. These not only decorate the table but also fill the room with fresh scents.

FOTO 4   Tulips

  • Decorated Easter Eggs are a universal symbol of Easter, and in Italy, by tradition are beautifully decorated and placed around the table. These can be real eggs that have been dyed and painted, or chocolate eggs wrapped in colorful foil.

FOTO 5   Eggs

  • “La Colomba di Pasqua” - is a traditional Easter cake, shaped like a dove (“colomba” means dove in Italian), symbolizes peace and the Holy Spirit. It often takes center stage on the Easter table, both as a decoration and a dessert to be enjoyed by friends and family.

FOTO 6   Colomba pasquale

  • Candles can also be part of the decoration, adding a warm and inviting ambiance. They might be placed in the center of the table or amongst the floral arrangements.

FOTO 7   BAOBAB Feathers

  • Italian Table Linens, especial the artisanal ones, are often used on such great occasions as the Easter, sometimes handmade or passed down through generations. These might be embroidered with spring motifs or Easter symbols like bunnies or eggs.

FOTO 8 Bergomi   custom made

  • Bread has a significant place in the Italian culture and Easter traditions. Baskets of specially made Easter breads, some containing eggs or shaped into symbols of the season, can be both decorative and part of the meal.


Moreover, each region of Italy may have its own specific traditions or variations on these themes, especially differing from North to South, and the islands (specifically Sardinia) reflecting the local culture and historical influences. Nevertheless, the focus is always on creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere that celebrates rebirth, and the gathering of family and friends.As for the rest of Europe, in different countries we will find a mix of religious significance, cultural heritage, and the welcoming of spring. Let's explore some of these traditions focusing on table decorations and related customs:

1/ In FRANCE there are:

  • Fleurs de Pâques (Easter Flowers): In France, the Easter table is often decorated with spring flowers like lilies, tulips, and daffodils. These flowers symbolize renewal and rebirth.
  • Œufs décorés (Decorated Eggs): Similar to Italy, beautifully decorated eggs are a common sight. These can be real eggs dyed in vibrant colors or crafted from chocolate and other materials.
  • Agneau Pascal (Easter Lamb): By tradition, a lamb is often served as the main dish on the Easter table, symbolizing Jesus.
  • Nappes et serviettes de table (Tableware and Napkins): A festive French Easter table may feature decorations with spring motifs or Easter designs.
  • Chocolates: Artisanal chocolate in the form of eggs, bunnies, and bells are not only treats but are also welcomed as decorative elements.


2/ In SPAIN, another country with a majority of Catholics we have:

  • Monas de Pascua - traditional Easter cakes often given as gifts, also serving as a decorative centerpiece on the Easter table.
  • Semana Santa Processions is an elaborate procession during the Holy Week, playing a significant part of Easter in Spain, with their influence seen in the themes of decorations and sweets.


3/ Nordic countries, like GERMANY, have similar customs:

  • Ostereierbaum (Easter Egg Tree): One of the most unique decorations, German families decorate trees and bushes with colorful eggs.
  • Osterlamm (Easter Lamb Cake): Similar to the Italian “Colomba di Pasqua”, this lamb-shaped cake is a traditional dessert and decoration.
  • Spring Flowers, like in many other European countries, play a big role in Easter decorations, with tulips, daffodils, and forsythia being particularly popular.


4/ In the UNITED KINGDOM we find:

  • Hot Cross Buns – marked with a cross, symbolizing the crucifixion, are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, and are often part of the Easter table setting.
  • Easter Trees - a tradition borrowed from Germany, UK households might decorate small trees or branches with eggs, ribbons, and other springtime ornaments.
  • Simnel Cake - a light fruit cake topped with marzipan balls representing the eleven apostles (excluding Judas), is a traditional centerpiece on the Easter table.


5/ In ROMANIA, my country of origin, the population is divided between Catholics and Orthodox, but since all are Christinas, we celebrate with same customs:

I find Romanians to be quite a religious nation and a very important tradition is to go to the church the night before Easter to held the ceremony, and then to bring home the Holy Light and benedict the Easter basket.

The night Easter, at the holly ceremony held in church, at midnight, the priest will say three times “Cristos a înviat” (meaning, “Christ has resurrected”) and will fire up a central candle. From that candle, all the people will light their own candles – that light is called the Holy Light. The belief says this light keeps away evil spirits, and it must be kept at home, signifying the triumph of good over evil.

Another ancient tradition is painting hard boiled eggs, to use in egg tapping competitions. People encounter with each other, holding in hand a colorful boiled egg, that are tapped against each other to see whose breaks first. The first person who taps the egg must say “Cristos a înviat” (meaning, “Christ has resurrected), while the other will respond “Adevarat a înviat” (meaning, “indeed, He has resurrected). It is thought that the eggs that your egg taps on Easter days are the people that you will see in the afterlife.


Finally, all the religious Christians go to church on Easter Sunday to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ. This festive is celebrated for three days, from Sunday till Tuesday, with family and close friends, and with plenty of food.

Wish you all Happy Easter!

With love,


MetropolitanMe Blogger