Paskha – Easter in Russia

RUSSIA-patriarch-kirill-easter-2012_(400_x_600)Faith, hope and love are the emotions that run rampant during Russia’s most popular spring festival, Ïàñõà (“Paskha”), known by Americans as Easter.

So widely loved is Paskha that it is the only religious holiday that was still widely celebrated during the days that the Russian-speaking nations were under Soviet control. Its traditions have been lovingly handed down through the generations, even by those who call themselves atheists. Today, it is celebrated by devout Christians and non-believers alike.

The name Paskha comes from the Jewish word ‘Pasqua’ which means deliverance from death. For Russian Orthodox Christians, this means that through his resurrection, Christ opened the door to heaven for all. This is expressed in how people greet each other throughout the day beginning on the morning of Paskha. The greeting begins with:

“Khristos Voskrese” – “Christ is risen.”

The proper reply is:

“Voistinu” or “Voistinu voskrese”“Indeed!” or “Indeed! He is risen.”

This is followed by three kisses on the cheek to symbolize sealing of the Holy Trinity.

easter-pussywillow-smAn important distinction to keep in mind is that Russian Catholics belong to the Orthodox church. However, like in many Roman Catholic European countries, Paskha does not really begin on the morning of the actual holiday. It starts with a 40 day period of fasting where one abstains from animal products such as meat and eggs. In former times, entertainment such as theatrical and musical presentations were forbidden. Nowadays, only the strict Orthodox limit themselves. This time of deprivation is known as Quadragesima, which is comparable to the European period of Lent.

In regards to when the beginning of Quadragesima and the day Paskha is celebrated, it all depends on the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian one used in the United States. Some years, such as in 2014, the calendars coincide and the Orthodox Paskha and Roman Catholic Easter share the same date. Other years, the two celebrations may fall weeks apart since the Julian calendar limits the time of Paskha to the months of April or early May.

Hope of moving beyond the restrictions of Quadragesima begins on the eve of Holy Week on the day that Americans call Palm Sunday. Since palms are scarce in Russian-speaking countries, pussy willows or twigs are gathered and brought to the Orthodox church where they are placed at the foot of the religious icons.

Russian Orthodox Easter EggThe week that follows is a busy one. Though the methods may differ, Russian families dye eggs just the same as families in the United States. The traditional color of choice in Russia is red as it symbolizes the blood of Christ. While Americans use fabricated dye kits, Russian families get their colors from natural means – from boiling onion skins into shades ranging from crimson red to red-brown. While American children glue on store bought stickers, Russian children cover wet eggs in gauze and then roll them in rice to make beautiful patterns before dipping them in the dye. After they dry, the gauze is removed and trimmings of such materials as silk are pasted on.

In Russia, these eggs have greater significance than they do in the United States as they are believed to possess magical powers that ward off evil spirits and will thus protect the community’s houses and crops. Many people hide an egg in the foundation of their home in accordance with this belief.

Paskha Dessert

The kitchen is also full of activity, particularly on the Saturday before Paskha. Yeast (bread) cakes, known as Kulich, are baked. A pyramid cake make out of cottage cheese called paskha, like the name of the holiday, is also prepared.

Saturday, just before midnight, families make their way through dark streets, traditionally thought to be haunted by evil spirits, to the interior of an unlighted church. The gloom of the interior is meant to make worshipers feel the sense of despair in a world where Christ’s presence is absent. Even those, who don’t regularly attend church, join those inside. Some of the eggs are brought to the church to protect them on their way. That evening, the priest will consecrate them with a blessing.

As midnight draws near, the Orthodox congregation lights candles. At the stroke of the hour, church bells peel, announcing the resurrection of Christ and the return of light and hope to the world. An enthusiastic liturgical service follows. All participate until dawn.

A huge breakfast feast awaits the congregation when they finally return home. All partake of the special foods that they were obliged to abstain from such as sausage and cheese. Afterwards, the family leaves the home once again, carrying baskets with the decorated eggs. After greeting friends and neighbors as described earlier, they offer the baskets as a token of love. There is a saying that an egg given from the heart will never spoil, so each is embraced as a special gift having great worth. Even dead relatives are remembered as families make their way to the cemetery with offerings of more of the eggs, bread and beer.

Russian-Easter-GamesLeft over eggs are still put to use. Children like to play a game called “Cracking” where they roll the eggs down a hill with the goal of breaking other children’s eggs without cracking their own. Still more eggs are broken to bits by having nails driven into them to symbolize the Crucifixion of Christ and His sacrifice of deliverance.

For all Russians, religious or not, Paskha is a day much celebrated and loved. Therefore, couples getting to know each other will want to make a special effort to reach out with a greeting or gift expressing faith, hope and love on this special spring holiday.

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Alla of Dnepropetrovsk, Dream Marriage’s Bride of the Day

Sign: Cancer

You have to admit, the standard for beauty set by our blog is a quite high. Every Russian Bride of the Day you see featured is as close to the complete package as you will ever meet. Today’s featured single is no different. Dreamers, meet Алла:

“Responsibility is the thing people dread most of all. Yet it is the one thing in the world that develops us. Think, we never did mistakes before but just found our way to get experience in this life and, It is fine, cause now we have new vital reference points.”

Upon hearing that, you’d think our Bride of the Day was a recent divorcee, but alas no. She is just a deep thinker. Both beautiful and intelligent, Alla has taken time from busy career as an accomplished designer to join the Dream Marriage international dating community. Her goal – to find her special one and forge a relationship rooted in truth.

ID: 3198672

What’s In A Name: Алла

Gifted with distinct features the likes of fiery red hair and emerald green eyes, we think Alla will have no problem finding suitors online. But because the 27 year old from Dnepropetrovsk had just joined Dream Marriage, we thought we’d give her a boost with some shine time on our blog.

Learn More About Alla:
Dnepropetrovsk

With a woman as deep as Alla, there really is only so much you can learn by looking at a few photos. Enough window-shopping, if you fancy Alla, do as the Romans do when it comes to online dating and send her a message introducing yourself.

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Olga of Kherson, Dream Marriage’s Russian Bride of the Day

“Single! Mother? Should You or Shouldn’t You?” Well before you snap judge and decide, why not get to know a bit more about today’s featured single from the Dream Marriage international dating community. Dreamers, meet our Russian Bride of the Ольга:

“I hope to meet a man who needs my tenderness. I want to love and to be loved. I have a son, for now he is my Universe, but I need a person who will love not just me but part of me, my child.”

Olga is a single mother of one from a stop along the way, Kherson. Still there? Good, because our Russian Bride of the Day is always worth a closer look and at 5’8, there is plenty of her to take in to boot. Her warm brown eyes and flowing blonde hair stopped our profile editor dead in her tracks.

What’s In A Name:
Ольга

Aside from being a MILF turned recent divorcee, Olga is a talented hairdresser with dreams of one day opening up her own salon. For now, she is focusing her efforts on finding not so much her perfect man, but a mature one rather.

Frequently Asked Questions:
“What Russian Women Want”

It’s best you get the rest from the source itself. Click either of the images included in this post to visit Olga’s personal profile page on the Dream Marriage online dating network. When you’re ready and willing, hit the “Email Me” button and introduce yourself.

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Why the Short Letters?

“I write long letters, pouring out my heart and soul to her yet when she writes back, it’s like she’s holding back. Why aren’t her letters like mine?”

So you threw all caution to the wind and decided to bear your soul to some special lady you met on our online dating network? Good for you, transparency is a trait in men that women of all walks of life respect and admire.  If what irks you is the fact that she responded with a comparably shorter letter, consider yourself lucky. More oft than not, it is the response time that can wear a man’s nerves thin. “Did I scare her away? Did I tell her too much?”

In your case, you got a response, but it wasn’t the one you were expecting. The letter could have been short and sweet, but the fact that she didn’t fill up a journal has ticked you off a bit. Your reaction is perfectly natural. Having unloaded a bunch of emotional baggage, it’s only human to yearn for some sort of reciprocation to even out the playing field that is dating. Before you go jumping to conclusions, there are a few things you should consider first:

TOO CONFUSING
It is difficult enough as is to build the fortitude to approach a woman you genuinely having feelings for, but when you throw in the dreaded language barrier, things can only get awkward. Although the Dream-Marriage online dating network has been retrofitted with state-of-the-art translation software, there are certain terms and words that will get lost in translation. Basically, no matter how evolved the tech, there are going to be some slang words that will slip through the cracks and make for some quirky exchanges. Speak plainly.

TOO PERSONAL
Are you questions too personal? Not everyone moves at the same speed when it comes to going through the paces of building a relationship. Messaging should not be a practice in interrogation. This isn’t Guantanamo Bay nor is this Spanish Inquisition. Drilling her with too many questions that burrow too deep can be misinterpreted as prying. Keep in mind, aside from a few mail correspondences you two have never met each other in person. You might as well ask her for credit card information by trying to dig into her deepest secrets.

TOO MUCH INFO
The same can be said for volunteering what the internet has colloquially termed “T.M.I” or “too much information” – there really is such a thing. Don’t confuse sharing personal information with a turning your communiques into a confessional.

The same goes for sending racy pictures or yourself or lewd comments. Definitely do not expect any self-respecting Russian woman with any sort of values to cater to that behavior. Online dating should be approached the same way you would a woman in the flesh, up-close and personal. Before you drop that “witty” pick-up line your buddy dared you to say, imagine to yourself, “would she turn red with blush or fury?” Although she can’t slap or kiss you in person, your choice of words will be the difference between a future with her or having to look for the next one.

TOO CHEAP TO DATE
Granted, the world is not exactly flush with wealth. Pinching a penny here and there is completely understandable and, in certain situations, necessary. However, when it comes to online dating and messaging, trying to cram as many questions into one communique to save money may just back fire on you. The girl on the other end has no idea how much you are spending on messages. That is really none of her concern, but the fact that you are rifling away questions may come off as someone trying to take things too fast, which touches upon the previous two points.

TO DO’S
Enough of the don’ts. How about some positives. Take things slow. Here are some tips to get the most out of your letter writing:

  • Take it slow. Don’t even think about discussing anything sexual within the first couple messages of online dating. Contrary to what many skeptics may think, Dream-Marriage is not that sort of site. Any members, who think otherwise and behave crudely, will be rooted out and banned.
  • Speak plainly. Although most of the single Russian women registered on the Dream-Marriage online dating network are above average intelligence, their English is not what one would consider fluid. As mentioned above, our translation software is fundamental, but is not equipped to keep up with slang and figures of speech.
  • Separate letters that contain lengthy descriptions, poems, or thoughts; from letters with important questions and information of which you want a direct response.

That pretty much sums it up. The rest is feeling the situation our for yourself and using your better judgement. Remember that we are here for you if you need us. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you need further assistance.

Inna of Donetsk, Dream Marriage’s Russian Bride of the Day

ID: 877274

Sign: Aquarius

We have ourselves a live one, dreamers. Today’s featured single is a real thrill seeker from the romantic city of Donetsk. Shake off your case of the Mondays and perk up a bit. You’re about to meet Инна:

“I like all things which make my heart to beat faster. Do you like to feel throbbing in moments when you even can’t breathe?”

Okay, let’s get one thing straight. Our Russian Bride of the Day Inna is no daredevil. She is not the type to free-climb skyscrapers. In fact, Inna is a grad student making her way through school as a teacher.

What’s In A Name: Инна

Beauty, intellect, and an inner vigor seem to be the ingredients that make up our Bride of the Day, Inna. The 25 year old with strawberry blonde hair joined Dream Marriage in hopes of finding her prince and her best friend all rolled into one human being. Just one look into her emerald green eyes and you will want to do whatever it takes to become that man.

READ:
“Why Russian Women Want To Marry Men From Abroad”

If I haven’t convinced you of what a catch Inna is, I suggest you take a closer look for yourself and visit her personal profile page on the Dream Marriage online dating network. Clicking either of the photos above should whisk you over to her page where you’ll find more info, photos, and even an introductory video. While you’re there, send her a message introducing yourself. This is an online dating site after all. Make use of your membership and meet people!

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Aliona of Sevastopol, Dream Marriage’s Russian Bride of the Day

Sign: Virgo

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride…or in the case of today’s featured single, always planning weddings for other people and never for herself, at least not yet. Dreamers, meet our Russian Bride of the Day Алена:

“I’ll give my heart only to a man, who knows how to respect a woman, who appreciates the dedication in a relationship and will not accept betrayals and flippant attitude towards family values.”

She hails from a city that recently seceded Ukraine and joined Russia. Perhaps you’ve heard of the City by the Sea – Sevastopol. If there were ever grounds for conversation, asking Aliona how she feels about being an official Russian citizen would be a great place to start.

ID: 3183985

Tips/Advice:
“Ice Breakers For First Time Chatters”

We don’t get too many girls from Sevastopol (go ahead, search our archives - only two on record!), but when we do, they tend to be nothing short of spectacular. This 5’9 brunette with warm brown eyes does not disappoint.

What’s In A Name:
Алёна

If you want to discover more about today’s featured single, Aliona, you’ll have to dig deeper than this teaser of a post. Click either of the photos and you will be redirected over to her personal profile page on the Dream Marriage online dating network. Just remember, you have to be registered with Dream Marriage in order to access other member profile pages. If you’re not already a member, we do offer a free trial. Once you’ve sign up, just follow the direction below…

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The Love Story of Natalia & Rab

On the 6th of September 2013, Dream Marriage member Rab H. of the United Kingdom shared this helpful testimonial detailing his trip to Lugansk, Ukraine to meet his lady love, Natalia:

Rab ❤s Natalia

Rab ❤s Natalia

“Seeing Natalia in person just made it all so real and we are looking forward to our future together, so a VERY BIG THANK YOU FROM BOTH NATALIA AND I for making it possible.”

Distance makes the heart grow fonder and these two had been going back and forth over the Dream Marriage online dating network for quite some time. When the time finally came down to it, Rab H. took all the necessary precautions to ensure his first face-to-face with Natalia would happen without any mishaps.

Tips/Advice: “I’m All Packed! Did I Forget Anything?”

2013 - 1If you’re planning on taking your relationship with your Russian bride to the next level, consider booking your lodgings, transportation, and translator/guide services through the Dream Marriage concierge. We’ve been at this for more than ten years. Let us do the heavy lifting of planning and logistics.

FAQ: “Need A Place To Stay?”

For more love stories featuring couples birthed from the Dream Marriage international dating community, visit the Love Stories section of our website. To hear the rest of Rab H’s testimonial, just click the photo of the happy couple above. Tune in next week for our next loves story highlight.

10 Years of Turning Dreams into Reality
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Olesia of Kiev, Dream Marriage’s Russian Bride of the Day

Sign: Aries

ID: 596771

In just nine days, the little lady laid across the front page of the Dream Marriage blog will hit a milestone in her life when she hits the big 2-5. Dreamers, introducing to you today’s featured single from the Dream Marriage international dating community, Олеся:

“I am that kind of person for whom comfort is the most important thing in life. Therefore I believe that person could be totally happy when she reaches the top of it, in my situation, comfort is the presence of beloved person. Therefore I am here, I hope that I will find him there.”

Olesia is a photogenic bird from the capital of Ukraine, Kiev with a Capital K. Her platinum locks of blonde hair and emerald green eyes frame a porcelain doll face that just stopped us in our web surfing tracks. To top it all off, Olesia is quite statuesque to boot, standing 5’8 in her stocking feet. If you’re into tall blondes, Olesia is your dream girl!

What’s In A Name: Олеся

There’s plenty more to know about our Russian Bride of the Day, Olesia. Just click either of the photos included in this post and you will be redirected to Olesia’s personal profile page on the Dream Marriage online dating network. While you’re there, don’t forget to click the “Like This Photo” to show some appreciation for Olesia’s on-camera beauty and, most importantly, don’t be shy; send her a message.

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Russian Orthodox Easter

It’s funny how time jumps forward as you travel across one zone to the next. When it comes to Easter however, there is a bit of a reverse trend. Because of the different calendars in play, Easter happens in the Western hemisphere first. The Orthodox Russians, who abide by the Gregoria calendar, traditionally celebrate Easter the weekend following the Julian calendar’s designated day for Easter. On April 20th, pious Russian populace will cease their fasts, women will break out their most ornate shawls and the children will dye eggs all sorts of colors.

“Христос воскрес!/Christ is risen!”  

Russian Easter Bread

Although it is not recognized by the State as a national holiday, Easter is a religious holiday that not even the Communist Soviets could systematically phase it out. Easter is looked upon as a spiritual cleanse. In the week long build-up to Easter itself, many Russians busy themselves with spring cleaning and preparing for the big family feast on Sunday. On Holy Thursday, children observe the tradition of hand-painting eggs, which will be blessed later at the epic Easter mass. The Saturday before Easter happens to be the strictest day of fasting. Russians, typically, pass the time by preparing food for the big Easter feast the following day. Among the traditional foods prepared is Paskha, or Easter cakes.

Early in the morning on Easter Sunday, Russian families flock to their local cathedrals to attend a service of epic proportions. Some Easter services start on Saturday night in a gloomily dark cathedral and end on Sunday morning when the crowd goes out into the world anew, greeted by the morning sun. Only after Sunday service is the fast broken and the feast allowed to begin.

 ”Воистину воскрес!/”He is truly risen!

Being the bastion of tradition that it is,  Orthodox Russia sticks to the script when it comes to planning a feast. If you happen to be invited to such a function, you can expect the table setting to be garnished with fresh flowers, pussy-willow branches and painted eggs in the spirit of the spring season. Sharing food with each other is a universal custom throughout Russia and looked upon as more than just an olive branch. If you are seated at their table and eating from their kitchen, you are family.

The very first dish to be shared among the flock is Russian bread, which was baked along with the Paskha on Easter Eve. Once bread has been broken and the main dishes starts flowing from the kitchen, anything from sausages, bacon and cheese will be piled high on your plate. These foods were prohibited during the 40 days of Lent leading up to Easter so people are free to indulge.

Once the Easter celebrations are through, Russians look forward to the warmer weather as they cast aside their heavy winter coats. If you are chatting up with one of the many beautiful women from Russia on our online dating network, be sure to wish her a happy Easter this coming Sunday and perhaps get her a digital egg in accordance with the holiday. She would really appreciate the thought and your worldly knowledge.

Aleksandra of Odessa, Dream Marriage’s Russian Bride of the Day

Oh how time flies. We’ve come upon the day of the week widely regarded as hump day. Once you get through today, it is all downhill from here on into the weekend. To help jump start your day, here is your daily dose of Russian brides.

Sign: Libra

Dreamers, meet today’s featured single from the Dream Marriage international dating community, Александра:

“I am very active person. I try to live a whole life, and enjoy sports and movement. To me those things give me a feeling that life is always in motion, and that is exciting.”

Much like yesterday’s cover girl, our Russian Bride of the Day Aleksandra is yet another fresh face to the Dream Marriage international dating community. The 19 year old Russian blonde from Odessa is so gung ho about meeting someone online, she has taken it upon herself to learn English in college!

What’s In A Name: Алекса́ндра

That’s not all she is learning however. As it turns out, Aleksandra is majoring in economics and being good with money is always a plus. Learn more about today’s featured single by simply clicking either of the photos included in this post. Just remember, only registered Dream Marriage members can access other member profile pages. So, if you aren’t already, follow the steps below:

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