Russian Orthodox Easter Celebration in the US: decorating Kulich and coloring eggs with kids.
Kulich, onion-skin colored eggs, Pascha, visits to the cemetery, huge family gatherings – that is what Easter was like for me growing up in the Soviet Union. No church, no night service, no prayers – all that was not allowed and was done in secrete, something my parents and grandmother did not want to expose me to. But the holiday of Easter has always been something I looked forward to. In our family it was the next biggest family gathering after New Year’s. Usually going to my grandmother’s place in the village and cooking and eating with my extended family was something to look forward to and enjoy. There were no chocolate eggs or Easter bunnies, but there were lots of traditions, family stories and happy hours of talking and singing with the people who love you.
Now living in the US and embracing the local traditions of Easter egg hunting and photos with Easter bunnies, I feel like I want my kids to have some fun traditions associated with the orthodox Easter too.
So I was very excited this year when our local Russian Orthodox Parish organized a kid’s Kulich and Egg decorating fair.
We saw so many kids enjoying the Kulich decorating process and having fun coloring the eggs. Is it a traditional Russian way to decorate them? Not really, but it had that spirit of community, happiness and sharing a good time with other people that I remembered from my childhood.
Each kid got an Easter cake called Kulich (Кулич) and they used frosting, sprinkles and other Easter décor to make beautiful little cakes! A separate table with jars of coloring water/vinegar mixes was set up for the kids. They took hard boiled eggs, used spoons to put their eggs into the liquids and came later to get them out, dry them and then decorate with stickers.
The kids ranges from 3 to about 7 and could accomplish these tasks independently with various degrees of success but definitely lots of giggles. Every child left with a colorful basket filled with their colorful cake, eggs and some Russian candy.
If you want to see more transitionally decorated Kulich (Easter cake), eggs and Paskha (cottage cheese sweet paste-like concoction) – have a look at our Pinterest board.
I am looking forward to eating it all on April 12th this year, which is when Orthodox Easter is celebrated this year and call my dear ones and say: Христос Воскресе! And hear the reply Воистину Воскресе! (Christ has risen! He truly has risen!) That is how we greet each other during the Easter Sunday.