Pattaya celebrates Easter

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Protestants and Catholics mixed tradition with egg hunts as Pattaya’s Christian community celebrated Easter.

The observance began April 6 at St. Nikolas Church where the parishioners re-enacted the Good Friday walking of the Stations of the Cross, parading once around the church with many alternating carrying the cross to each station.

The protestant service performed by Pastor Ulrich Holste-Helmer.The protestant service performed by Pastor Ulrich Holste-Helmer.

The congregation returned Saturday night when candles and holy water were blessed – and Easter eggs handed out – in preparation for Sunday’s mass.

The Easter Sunday ceremony also saw 12 children take their first communion. The girls, dressed in white dresses with flowers in their hair, and boys, decked out in black and white, all looked very serious as they focused on getting all the details right.

The Catholic Easter mass.The Catholic Easter mass.

Across town, Protestants celebrated Easter at a prayer room in Naklua with Rev. Ulrich Holste-Helmer leading the sermon. Wolfram Reda and Elisabeth Schmidt accompanied hymns and afterward all enjoyed an Easter buffet.

In the afternoon came the annual Easter egg hunt organized by the Child Protection & Development Center in Huay Yai. However, because older boys were doing their Buddhist duties at a temple to prepare for Songkran, they skipped the Christian affair, with kids from the Mercy Home taking their place, accompanied by David Waterfall, an Australian volunteer, and caretakers.

The 12 First-Communicants.The 12 First-Communicants.

Director of the Human Help Network Thailand Radchada Chomjinda had decorated the roofed sports stadium with the help of volunteers in Easter style complete with plush animals and other toys waiting to be raffled off.

Pattaya Blatt’s Elfi Seitz emceed as the Easter bunny while Georgette and Helmut Kessler and Dieter Knittel hid colorful eggs and tasty sweets and toys strategically. Running and laughing, the kids searched thoroughly for their rewards, helped by three dogs.

A buffet of Thai food capped the party.

The Via Dolorosa is performed at St. Nikolaus Church.The Via Dolorosa is performed at St. Nikolaus Church.

The hunt for Easter eggs.