Today is Easter Sunday, a holiday that brings many families together for feasting, egg hunts, pictures, and chocolate. It’s also the main Western holiday that prompts people to attend church because Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
This year, because of social distancing and stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus, everything is different. We’re foregoing many of our traditional practices or at least altering them significantly. Our churches are only live-streaming services; communities have canceled annual Easter egg hunts, and many extended families aren’t getting together to celebrate.
Still, it’s a special day and people are making the most of it in their individual ways.
For this blog, we decided to bring you a collection of holy places to “visit.” The collection includes places that observe Easter and places that observe other holy days. Our band family comprises people of various faiths so we’re showcasing places that hold meaning for all of us.
Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris, France
Notre-Dame Cathedral suffered a devastating fire on April 15, 2019, which destroyed the spire and most of the roof. French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to restore the cathedral by 2024. This pre-fire photo shows how millions of visitors remember the iconic site.
Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
Also known as the Blue Mosque, this sacred site was built between 1609 and 1616. Its interior walls are covered with over 20,000 azure tiles. At night, blue lights illuminate the outside of the mosque with its five primary domes, six minarets, and eight secondary domes.
(Photo by Fatih Yürür on Unsplash)
The Wailing Wall, Jerusalem, Israel
This limestone wall in Jerusalem is called the Wailing Wall, the Western Wall, or Kotel. The wall is sacred to followers of Judaism because of its proximity to the Temple Mount. It is the holiest place where Jews are allowed to pray.
(Photo by Thomas Vogel on Unsplash)
Kata Tjuta, Northern Territory, Australia
Kata Tjuta is a place sacred to the Anangu Aborigines of Australia. They believe that the rocks of Kata Tjuta and Uluru (not shown) are evidence of feats performed by ancestral beings at the beginning of time when the world was created. Kata Tjuta, comprising a group of 36 rock domes, means “many heads.”
Boudha Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal
A stupa (“heap” in Sanskrit) is a structure that looks like an upside-down bowl. It typically contains religious relics and functions as a place of meditation for worshippers. The Boudhanath, or Boudha Stupa, is one of the largest stupas in the world. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Peter and Paul, Suriname, Paramaribo
This cathedral is the biggest wooden structure in the Western Hemisphere and is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paramaribo. This photo was taken by a Latitude28 Band member during our trip to Suriname from March 6-13, 2020.
Hundreds of thousands of sacred sites exist around the world. We hope you’ve enjoyed the six we’ve featured here.