In this week, on Sunday, Orthodox celebrate Orthodox Easter.
Easter and Orthodox Easter celebrate the same event by religious beliefs, just as the Orthodox religion follows Julian calendar, Orthodox Easter falls onto another date unlike Easter, where Catholics set a date by Gregorian calendar.
The most recognizable custom of this holiday, as well as Easter, is the giving of colored eggs. Eggs are the symbol of a new life, birth and rejuvenation of nature, and it is a great joy for those who give eggs and for those who receive it. The first coloured egg is called ‘guardian-of-the-house’, and is placed aside and kept until the next Orthodox Easter.
Sunday, which is always day for Orthodox Easter, is preceded by the longest fasting of the Orthodox. It lasts for lasts seven weeks. During the fast it is forbidden to eat food that is of animal origin. So you often hear the word lenten, which in most cases people think it is a food low in calories, in fact, it is food without ingredients of animal origin.
On Orthodox Easter, the whole family goes to the church, and after the service they are greet each other with the “Hristos vaskrse!” and “Vaistinu vaskrse!”.
In some areas, a dough is braided, and eggs are placed in them. For children, adults hide eggs or sweets in the yard, so the youngsters entertain themselves after breakfast.
Usually Russian salad or Urnebes salad are served. Urnebes salad is a blend of cheese, paprika chutney, garlic and red hot or sweet peppers.
As both Orthodox Easter and Easter symbolize the birth of spring, there are different salads served made of young vegetables such as peppers with
garlic or young cabbage salad. Even though it symbolizes spring, people try to use all the remains of the winter stores, such as cabbage rolls or paprika chutney. And of course the central part of the table is usually reserved for young lamb’s roast. Roast of pork or some other animal is often found on the table, with side dishes such as young potatoes or some other vegetables.
Customs vary from area to area. Somewhere for a delicious lunch steaks can be served or chicken in a with gravy. The menu is not strictly defined.
The most important segment of this holiday as well as others is that the family gathering. Today’s time moves man away from what is most important to him, and what more can bring and reconcile people than one religious holiday which gathers family around a table full of various dishes and entertainment.