Easter is a very popular festival celebrated in many countries. This festival is celebrated by Christians with great enthusiasm and zeal. The celebration of Easter in Russia is similar to what is celebrated across the world. Easter Sundays marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ after he was crucified. Few Easter rituals and traditions that prevail to specific countries make Easter celebration different from the other countries. The obvious difference can be seen by the way Eastern Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics and Protestants celebrate Easter.
Since Russia is dominated by the Eastern Orthodox culture, the way people celebrate Easter differs here. They have different traditions and rituals that make it different from the rest of the western nations. Easter in Russia is therefore unique and different.
The Russians follow the Eastern Orthodox Church and religiously go by what is laid down before them. The only common thing between the Eastern Orthodox Christians and the Western Christians (Roman Catholics and the Protestants) is Easter. Other than this there is a difference between the calendars of both the communities. The Western church follow the Gregorian calendar which has 13 days difference from the Julian calendar followed by the Eastern Church. In the Eastern Church, the calculations start from March 21st which is according to their calendar and the Gregorian calendar starts from April 3rd.
Easter in Russia is an auspicious day. The Russian Orthodox Church Easter mass goes all throughout Saturday night while the Western Churches have an Easter sunrise mass. Christians all over gather at the cathedral on Saturday evening and be a part of the Easter vigil that marks the burial of Jesus Christ. In Russia, a scared inner sanctuary is built which gives access to only priests and not to worshippers. Here the door of the sanctuary is closed and is opened at midnight. Since the priest has the access, he opens the door and comes out saying “Christ is risen! Christ is risen! Christ is risen!" and after that the worshippers observe an hour of silence and then reply back saying, “He is risen indeed!"
Other than this important ritual followed by Russians on Easter, they follow another ritual. This interesting ritual is decorating the Easter egg. The important color in Russia is red and therefore most Easter eggs are red in color. Red is an important color as it symbolizes the blood of Jesus Christ. Easter in Russia also involves family get-togethers. The Easter dinner is another important ritual that is followed by every Russian family. This is usually organized in the church as people gather in large number. The Easter dinner is a lavish spread of food where all family and friends are involved. Easter delicacies include Easter cakes known as “kulich” which is specially baked and curd paskha. All these delicacies are brought to church and are blessed by the priest before the grand Easter meal starts.
Easter in Russia has always been very traditional and special. It is an auspicious day and every Russian is believed to follow it religiously till today.