Easter Holiday in the Holy Land
Picture the site, a mass of Christians dressed in white and gold to symbolize angels and victory, bearing modern day crosses and dragging them down the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem in a re-enactment of Jesus carrying his cross on the way to his own crucifixion. Imagine the same act on the same street as a show of faith and understanding. This is what Easter in the Holy Land is all about and you won’t experience it anywhere else in the world.
In the west there may be the tradition of chocolate Easter eggs – nice as far as it goes. In Israel, Christian Arabs have a tradition of cracking hard boiled eggs to represent re-birth. If you want an Easter filled with significance rather than commercialism there is only one place to visit – Israel.
Te Easter story was and all surrounding it transpired in Jerusalem, so what better way to celebrate than to visit the place where it all occurred?
On the Mount of Olives pilgrims gather in the same place where Jesus told his disciples of what will occur to him as and when he enters Jerusalem – death and rebirth. Modern day followers walk the same streets and visit sites of enormous relevance to the Easter story in the tradition known as the 14 “Stations of the Cross.” The final five stations are located in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the location where Jesus was claimed to have been crucified and is now entombed.
But it is not only the final three days of Easter that are “felt” in The Holy Land. Come Lent and there is a different air to Jerusalem as Christians of all denominations take tome for repentance, introspection, and the giving of charity. Of course this all culminates in Holy Week with the rousing church services.
A trip to Israel at this time of the year is special as it also coincides with the Jewish festival of Passover which stretches for seven days. If you want to get away from the masses, Israeli car rental is well organized and abundant. Hire a car and escape to a quieter part of the country to unwind.
Notwithstanding the hustle and bustle associated with this time of the year in the Holy Land, it is a must do at least once in your lifetime. Even if you are not religiously observant, the sights, sites, and traditions are something to behold.