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Russian Easter Traditions
April 23, 2019 15:55


One of the main Christian holidays with 11 centuries old history, the Easter has long ceased to be treated as a purely church celebration. For the Russians, the day of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the tradition of celebrating the revival and spring as its symbol; it is jubilation and festivities that have extended far beyond their religious origin.
Nevertheless, the traditions that were laid down by our distant ancestors have been partly preserved.

1. Easter has always been perceived as a family celebration. On this day, all the relatives should gather at the same family table to enjoy the spring renewal of nature along with the miraculous resurrection of God's Son.
2. On the Easter Sunday Eve, all kinds of candle lights and bulbs are lit up in every house. The lights symbolize the soulful welcoming of the biggest holiday of Christianity.

3. On Easter Day, all acquaintances who happen to meet each other should interchange Easter painted eggs and kiss each other three times with the phrase: "Christ is Risen - Truly Risen!" It is believed to be a way of showing pure and good intentions to each other. All those who have previously fought must certainly be reconciled on the Easter Day for the sake of joy and the miracle of Resurrection.
4. On the threshold of Easter, the housewives must tidy up their homes and throw away all the unwanted stuff, so that the family will have purity, grace and comfort.

5. By the day of the Resurrection of Christ, the hostesses traditionally collect festive foods and drinks into a basket and bring it to church for the priest to sprinkle holy water on it. This was once a very important curtain raiser for a blessed breaking of the Great Lent. As a rule, the Easter baskets are filled with Easter cakes (Kulich in Russian), painted eggs, meat, lard, salt, water, Cahors church wine, etc.

According to the old Orthodox tradition, the basket should also contain Artos, the Easter leaven loaf, which should be blessed at church and afterwards kept at home, so that in case of serious health issues it can be eaten for removing illnesses.

6. On the Easter Day, it is imperative to treat your acquaintances, friends, and any people in need with Easter cakes (kulich).

7. At 6 pm on Saturday, a great Easter church service starts. At night, Easter fire is lit up in each and every church.

8. At midnight the Cross Procession begins a solemn procession with singing canticles begins. After this, the great divine service takes place. Those not participating in the procession were not recommended to leave their homes during it. It was believed that on this night all the evil spirits went outdoors to prevent the miracle of the Resurrection of Christ from happening.

9. The church service is accompanied with bell ringing. There was a belief that each person can climb into the bell tower on Easter to make a wish and strike the bell. People believed that this ritual would make their wish come true.
10. The most beautiful and big Easter cake should remain in the house. It is to be surrounded with eggs painted red, because this color symbolizes the victory of good over evil.

The first week after Easter is called the Red Hill and has long been the favourite period for traditional Russian weddings. Even nowadays lots of couples try to arrange their wedding particularly on the Red Hill.
Bright Holiday of Pascha, or Russian Easter
Russian Easter Recipes
White Porcelain Easter Egg
Traditions of Orthodox Bell Ringing
Bell Ringing Festivals and Museums in Russia
Photos from http://krugprazdnikov.ru http://usinsk.online https://avatars.mds.yandex.net http://fotokto.ru http://www.--.




Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Easter Russian Holidays Russian Traditions   

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