Kerala gears up for Easter Sunday

March 22nd, 2008 - 3:00 pm ICT by admin  

Kottayam (Kerala), March 22 (IANS) White, orange and pink Easter Lily flowers blooming in central Kerala signals that Easter has arrived. The Christian belt in central Kerala districts of Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Kochi and parts of Alappuzha district are all geared up to celebrate Easter Sunday.

Unexpected summer showers this season have led to the beautiful flowers blooming in large numbers all across the countryside in these districts.

Another reason for cheer is the soaring price of rubber that is the main cash crop of a major section of the Christian community in these areas.

Price of rubber has gone beyond Rs.100 per kg, while a few years back it was a mere Rs.35 per kg.

“If my memory is right, it was way back in 1938 that rains during Easter week occurred. The rainfall now is something very strange,” said Thomaskutty, 91, who was caught unawares due to the rain while waiting in front of his church after the Good Friday service at Vakathananam in Kottayam district.

Many observe 50-day Lent when eating meat and fish is not undertaken and for many orthodox Christian’s, even milk and egg is also not consumed during the Lent.

“For the past five decades I observed the Lent in all its seriousness but my children and grand children are not too pleased. I don’t insist that they should observe the Lent. But meat, fish and egg is not allowed to be cooked in my home in the whole of the Passion Week, which ends with Easter Sunday,” said 79-year-old Sosamma Kurian.

As a result of the Passion Week when most Christians turn strict vegetarians, the price of meat including chicken, duck, buffalo and pork and fish goes down only to pick up on Easter eve.

A spectacle in many villages in central Kerala, just a few days ahead of Easter Sunday, is that meat merchants conduct a march past of the cows and buffaloes which are to be cut, through the village roads. On their body would be written the date, time and place when these would be cut.

The price of buffalo meat has gone up and it costs Rs.110 per kg. Saturday morning there was huge crowd at meat stalls to buy freshly cut meat.

Fish prices have also gone up. Many have already stacked it early this week to beat the price rise.

Saturday in many Christian homes is a busy day, as it is today that all the cooking is done because in many churches, Easter mass starts around 2 a.m. Sunday morning.

The mass gets over at 6.30 a.m. and then it is a rush to get home for the sumptuous breakfast of traditional appam, meat stew, baked bananas, boiled eggs and cakes.

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