As is customary throughout the world, feasting is as much a part of Easter as the services and ceremonies. It is no different in Jerusalem where dining out or having a big family meal at home will be on the menu for local and foreign Christians alike.
After Palm Sunday, bakeries in the Christian Quarter will become abundant with Easter treats, however, anything baked or eaten up until Easter adheres to the Lenten fast. Lenten fasting is taken very seriously in this part of the world: The baked products are exclusive of animal products so no eggs are used. Also, Christians don’t eat meat.
Easter treats made prior to the feast are made without eggs. Some of the popular ones are flat-pressed cookies made with sesame seeds and honey. Others include dates or walnuts, popular fillings for holiday cookies.
Shawar’s Bakery, a Christian-owned bakery on 54 Christian Quarter Road, is one of the few places where you can purchase these festive holiday treats. In time for Easter, Shawar’s and others will sell the traditional sweet bread laced with painted Easter eggs.
Since meat is also fasted during Lent, Easter dinner includes a traditional lamb dinner to break the fast. While many area restaurants will be open on Easter Sunday, one in particular is hosting a special dinner.
Shababeek has a prix-fixe Easter menu on Sunday, April 4 from noon to 3 p.m. The menu includes Arabic salads and appetizers, a choice of stuffed lamb necks, stuffed French chicken, grilled denis and knafeh, a sweet cheese dessert. Plus coffee, special Easter cookies and eggs. The price is 120 shekels for adults and 90 shekels for children under 12.
Shababeek is located in Sheikh Jarrah on 7 Shimon Ha Sidik. For reservations, call 02.532.2626.
Written By: Nicole Jansezian