Russian Orthodox Easter

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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.

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