Piana degli Albanesi celebrates Greek-Byzantine Easter

Piana degli Albanesi is the most important Arbëreshë community in Sicily and it is the Episcopal See of the Byzantine Catholic Church. Founded in the 15th century by a large group of Albanian refugees fleeing Ottomans (conquest of the Balkans). The community has maintained many elements of Albanian culture like language, religious ritual and music.

The town preserves unique Easter traditions. During the Divine Liturgy the Gospel is read in seven languages, including Arabic. A merry parade takes place afterwards, all the women, several men and kids dress in traditional Arbëresh costume. Blessed red hand-painted eggs are handed out as a sign of Christ’s resurrection.

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Mario Cucina
Photographer

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