Kerala celebrates Easter with fervour

April 24th, 2011 - 4:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, April 24 (IANS) Christians across Kerala made a beeline for churches in the wee hours of Sunday to take part in Easter mass, which signifies the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

For the orthodox Christians, the Easter prayers begin as early as 1.30 a.m., while the rest start mass at around 5 a.m.

Over the years, it has become customary practice for the priests to hand out pieces of cake made of egg and milk after the mass, bringing to an end the 40-day period of Lent observed by orthodox Christians, who forego all non-vegetarian food during the time.

However, the practice has undergone a change over the years.

“Gone are the days when Lent was observed strictly for the entire period of 40 days. In our childhood days, Lent was synonymous with Easter. Today, times have changed. What I have observed is that it is only in the last one week starting Palm Sunday when many homes turn vegetarian,” said 80-year-old Aleykutty Joseph in Kottayam.

Christian families celebrate the day with the traditional Easter breakfast, comprising of appam (rice pancake), baked bananas, egg curry and mutton or chicken stew.

Christians account for 23 percent of the state’s 3.20 crore population.

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