Lebanese people have a lot of traditions, especially around big holidays. And Easter is one of the main in Lebanon. Every year, people leave everything, their schools, universities, work, and routines, wherever they are around the world, and they come home to celebrate with their loved ones.
They make delicious food, they visit close and extended family and friends, they decorate, they go shopping for clothes and sweets, they attend the Easter mass, and then they make lots and lots of plans to make the most out of the holiday.
This year, they had to give up almost all of these traditions due to the outbreak. However, they seemed to have had a nice Easter despite all, and this is how Lebanon celebrated it this year:
#1 Priests preached from the churches to quarantined people
Easter this year in Lebanon was full of empty church benches. Lebanese priests held their usual mass, and the churches didn’t have but a couple or no attendees; people prayed from home, as the clerics advised them to.
The Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi held the Easter mass in Bkerke, with the participation of a group of bishops, priests, and nuns.
He appealed to the Lebanese people to stay quarantined in order to prevent the spread of the virus and said: “We pray for the recovery of all those sick and the protection of all citizens, as we pray for the infected, doctors, nurses, and families.”
#2 The contrast was evident
Make sure you see both pictures above. Same time, the same place, one year apart. People are eager to meet again and celebrate together. “I cannot get used to the sight of an empty church during this holy week,” the caption says.
#3 The Lebanese spent quality time with their families
Those who got to spend Easter with their close family, even if they stayed at home all day, don’t realize how lucky they are. This is the most important aspect of any holiday in Lebanon: quality family time, and they got to do just that.
#4 They got creative with their egg decorating
All eggs decorated by Lebanese people this Easter were inspired by current events. Usually, we see smiley faces and bunnies. This year, egg painting consisted of face-masks, COVID-19 sketches, and even Thawra symbols. Some didn’t miss the opportunity to remind people to stay home.
#5 Realistically though, it went something like this:
Thank goodness for Maamoul and Kaak! They kept people company and in the holiday spirit all day long. These sweets came right on time.
#6 The focus was mainly on food
This part is never a letdown. After the religious celebration, Easter Sundays in Lebanon are all about Mashewe. This year, people were blessed with good weather, so most got to do their barbeques outside, which is what a Lebanese person’s dreams are made of.
#7 Egg-cracking contests did go on… with social distancing
Of course, they did something crazy. And, of course, you can count on Lebanese people to turn a situation around!
#8 Parents found alternative Easter activities for their kids
Coloring, baking, decorating,… whatever got the kids (and the parents) in the holiday spirit was the major theme in every Lebanese household. People in Lebanon love Easter, and they wouldn’t let the day go past without making it special.
#9 Those who had to celebrate somehow
Only the Lebanese would find humor in such tough situations. Every event is an opportunity for them to spread laughter and joy. Nothing will bring this population down!
#10 Some families had a breakfast picnic for a change
It didn’t turn so well, though… The goats around decided to join the celebration and enjoy the food; all of it!
Easter 2020 has proven to us, once again, that the Lebanese can always perceive the light at the end of a dark tunnel. Even if Easter was different this year, people enjoyed it nevertheless.
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