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Easter
Monaco

Easter 2017 and 2018

Easter is an important holiday in Monaco as the church pays a key role in the culture. More than 90 percent of the population is Roman Catholic, the official state religion.

YearDateDayHoliday
201717 AprMonEaster Monday
20182 AprMonEaster Monday

History of Holiday

Easter, which is sometimes called Resurrection Day, celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion. It is one of the most important days in Christianity as they believe Jesus freed his believers from the penalty of sin upon his death and resurrection. It is celebrated on the third Sunday after Lent and the date changes each year. According to the Bible, Jesus rose from the dead on the first Sunday following Passover. Because the Jewish calendar is partially lunar based, determining the date of Passover can be difficult. For many years, rabbis would announce when Passover would be celebrated at the beginning of the year. Christians did not like being dependent on a pronouncement from a rabbi to celebrate Christian feasts, so they determined that Easter would be on the first Sunday on or after the Paschal full moon which occurs on or after the spring equinox. Therefore, Easter always falls between March 22 and April 25.

Celebrations and Traditions

Monaco celebrates Easter week, not just one day. The origins of Holy Week celebrations may trace back to the Crusades. Survivors of expeditions introduced Christians in the West to the rites of the East. There are accounts of processionals in Monaco on Good Friday starting in the 13th century.

In 1639, Prince Honore II established the Venerable Brotherhood of the Black Penitents of Mercy. The Brotherhood now organises a processional on the evening of Good Friday known as the Procession of the Dead Christ. The Brotherhood re-enacts the Stations of the Cross as the processional proceeds, reminding people that Jesus died on the cross for them. It is a sombre occasion and not celebratory as the procession travels through town.

Easter Sunday, however, is a celebratory occasion as it celebrates the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. On this day, entire families gather in celebration on Easter Sunday. They often purchase special clothing and attend church services. A special Easter Mass is held at the Cathedral of Monaco. In the afternoon, children participate in Easter egg hunts. Many resorts and hotels in Monaco offer special Easter week packages that include an Easter egg hunt and Easter Sunday brunch for families. There is a parade in Monaco which is attended by the royal family as well.

Easter Monday is also a public holiday in Monaco. On Easter Monday, offices, schools and many businesses are closed to allow employees to spend time with family.