Easter is coming
This year the Orthodox Easter is celebrated on April 12, the Catholic one - a week earlier on April 5, 2015.
Holy Week is the week preceding Easter and the final week of Lent. Holy Week commemorates the Passion of Christ. On Maundy Thursday all Christians clean their houses, it is the day on which Christ celebrated the Last Supper with his Disciples. Good Friday commemorates the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
Easter holiday symbolizes the Resurrection of Christ. Easter cakes and eggs symbolize Life, Easter fire – light and spiritual renewal. Christ is portrayed with a red circular halo around his head that is why the red color is traditional.
There are many traditions, but the most popular are baking Easter cakes and painting eggs in bright colours.
Eggs are the most important elements. This tradition is very old. An egg symbolizes the beginning of a new life, spring renewal and fertility. In religious traditions eggs symbolize the continued life and the Resurrection of Christ. Eggs are mostly given to children. From ancient times, eggs were brightly decorated and presented to family members and friends.
Easter cake is an artos – the Holy bread that is blessed during the Easter service in church. The cylindrical shape reminds of the shroud of Christ. The word “kulich” in Spanish means “round bread”. In Greece it sounds like “kollikion”, the French call it “koulitch”. The Russians also use the word “koulitch” or “paskha”.
People usually bring the food to the church service to get the blessing. It is done on Saturday and on Sunday after the service. The priests sprinkle all Easter food and eggs with Holy water and light special Easter candles. People take the Holy Fire and bring it home to purify their houses.
There is also a tradition to greet each other with the words: “Christ is risen! - Christ is risen indeed!”