By Ciara Long, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Home to one of the world’s largest Catholic populations, and with a growing evangelical population, Easter traditions in Brazil often have their basis in gathering friends and family together over the long weekend. Known as Pascoa in Portuguese, Easter this year falls on Sunday, April 16th.
Today, Friday April 14th, is a national holiday in Brazil as the country observes Good Friday (Sexta Paixão). Many schools and businesses throughout the country will be closed for the day, as part of Semana Santa (Holy Week) observances. Many families will also follow culinary traditions, serving up fish as the main dish on Good Friday.
The church will host a special quiet reflection session today between midday and 3PM, allowing visitors to practice their own private prayers. From 3PM, there will be a joint service with São Lucas.
Christ Church will also host its usual Sunday Mass at 8AM on Easter Sunday. This will be followed by the Family Service at 10:30 AM and Holy Communion.
Those seeking a more chocolate-themed celebration may be slightly disappointed by Brazil’s offerings, as Easter egg hunts aren’t traditional. However, in their place, other recent traditions include giving large chocolate Easter eggs filled will anything from toys to candy, to various creme fillings and smaller chocolates.
With many services and business restricting their usual operating hours, Cariocas and residents also often choose to spend the long weekend outside of the city, travelling to nearby destinations such as Paraty and Buzios.
The city’s beaches often also find themselves busier than usual, as ideal places for family and friends to gather and make the most of Rio’s nature.