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Orthodox Easter

Two weeks following the Catholic Easter Holiday is the main Christian Orthodox Holiday established to honor the Resurrection of Jesus Christ following his crucifixion on the cross and to the coming out of the Jews from Egypt.

The date of Easter is usually determined by the Church calendar and calculated according to the so-called “Paskhalias” (the name for the “special tables”).

Before and during Easter Ukrainians buy or bake Easter cakes (biscuits with raisins), and hand paint eggs widely known as Pysanka.

It is a very important holiday. On Easter night people go to their local church, spending the entire night in Church services! Usually they take with them Easter cakes and painted eggs. In the morning (about 4 am) the service concludes with the clergyman sprinkling all food with sa­cred water which is believed to give strong healing powers. At this time people return home to continue the celebration with food and drink throughout the day.

The traditional greeting on this day is: “Khrystos Voskres!” (Christ has arisen) and the answer “Voyistynu Voskres!” (Truly arisen) followed with kisses and the exchanging of gifts.

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