The Italian language, as well as many others, is rich of expressions, sayings and proverbs. Whether they originated centuries ago or only recently, they reflect our culture and history, and are part of our everyday life.
Many of these sayings are metaphors that use the vocabulary of Easter. What is their literary and metaphorical meaning? And where do they come from? For this special Easter issue, we want to unveil the origin of some of the most popular “modi di dire”.
These, for example, refer to the Easter day:
To Be Happy Like an Easter (Essere Felici Come una Pasqua) – In the Catholic tradition, Easter is the day of the resurrection of Jesus, and so it is a day of great joy. When we say someone is as happy as an Easter, we mean that person is truly happy.
To Have Easter Come on a Sunday (Venire la Pasqua di Domenica) – Easter always comes on a Sunday; therefore this sentence is referred to whatever happens at the right moment or as expected. 
Some sayings instead use the metaphor of the Lent:
As Long as Lent (Lungo Come una Quaresima) – Lent is the 40 days period preceding Easter day. It is a moment of penitence, characterized by fasting and prayer. Not exactly a pleasing practice, especially if you intend to observe it for the full length… For this reason, Italians say someone is as long as Lent when he’s boring or long-winded.
He Squandered Everything and Now Does Lent (Ha Sciupato Tutto e Adesso Fa Quaresima) – Once again, involving the ritual of Lent, this sentence is referred to someone who has wasted everything and now can only live in poverty.
Some other sayings refer to the symbol of the Holy Cross, like the following ones:
To Throw the Cross Against Someone (Gettare la Croce Addosso a Qualcuno) – The Holy Cross was carried by Jesus as he was accused of being a criminal; it is a symbol of guilt. To throw the cross against someone means to leave them the responsibility of something.
To Carry Your Own Cross (Portare la Propria Croce) – Jesus carried his cross to the Calvary, enduring effort and pain; whoever deals with hard times in his life is carrying his own cross.
The Cross You Make By Yourself is the Heaviest (La Croce che Ci Si Fa Da Soli è La Più Pesante) – It refers to the pain we cause to ourselves as a consequence of our negligence. Apparently, the pain is more when caused by our own mistakes…
Another common saying uses the metaphore of the Resurrection:
To Be Like Saint Thomas (Essere Come San Tommaso) – We say this to someone who won’t believe something until he sees it with his own eyes. The Apostle Thomas in fact, did not believe Jesus had risen until Jesus himself came to him.
Finally, the most used of all the Italian proverbs related to this festivity: Natale con i Tuoi, Pasqua con Chi Vuoi, or Christmas with the family, Easter with whoever you like!

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