Russian Orthodox Easter Differences
This year we went to a Kulich fair – a tradition in our local church in the US, where kids get to decorate Kulich and die eggs. They had a lot of fun as usual but we also talked about difference and similarities between the Orthodox and Western Easter
Easter is the biggest holiday in Christian church. It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ (воскресение Иисуса Христа). Eater in Russian is called Pascha (Пасха). While in English the word Easter comes from a from the name of an Anglo-Saxon goddess of Spring – Eostre. As Easter was usually in April (Eostremonat), her name was used for the Christian holiday that happened then. ,” In most of the non-English speaking countrie is is still called Pasch (Passover).
I always knew that Easter is a movable holiday and can be celebrated in April or May, but I found out that Easter is on different dates for Orthodox and Western Christians.
Although both calculate the date based on the same rule (“The first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox”). However the 13 day difference between the Julian (western) and the Georgian (Eastern) calendar as well as different interpretation of the vernal equinox and full moon. This is why the date for Easter can differ by a month.
However there are year when they do fall on the same date and this year is one of them! Although some previous years when they fell on different dates my kids were lucky to celebrate Easter twice!
There are differences in the service between Orthodox and Catholic Churches. In the Orthodox Church there is a Saturday service, after it all the traditional food is blessed with Holy water, the Church is decorated and cleaned for the evening Service. It begin around 11 pm and goes through 1 to 6 am.
In Catholic Church there is usually a service on Thursday, Friday (Good Friday is a big event) and Saturday. The tradition to Baptize people before the Eater liturgy remains, and is followed by the Liturgy that begin Easter. Lots of churches will do a sunrise service followed by a celebration of the end of lent and Easter Day.
Both Orthodox and Western Christian churches usually die or decorate egg for Easter. Orthodox Easter is usually celebrated with a big meal right at the beginning of the day ( breakfast or brunch) and involves eating a log of traditional food that are usually prepare on the Thursday before Easter Sunday.
The traditional way to decorate the eggs is to collect the onion sлшты and then boil them down. That produces a brown liquid. Then the eggs are covered in cloth or herb and put in the onion liquid to produce oтe beautiful decorative deigns.
Two other staples of an Eater meal are a Kulich ( Кулич – sweet bread in a shape of a tall cylinder) and Pascha ( Пасха – mixture of farmers cheese, butter, sour cream, eggs, sugar and dried fruit). Like with Borscht, every family tends to have their own ( best!) recipe for Kulich and Pascha.
This year we plan to try these three recipes:
Check out lots of other wonderful Easter traditions form around the work at the MKB Easter Around the World and visit the pinterest board!
Follow Russian Step By Step’s board Пасха Easter in Russian on Pinterest.
Easter is approaching, and once again we are excited to take you on a tour of the world and how it celebrates Easter! Explore the diverse traditions of Easter with us, and don’t miss our series from last year or 2015. You also will enjoy this wonderful overview of global Easter traditions. Find these posts and more on our Easter Around the World Pinterest board: