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Today, on April 8, Christians of the Eastern Rite celebrate Easter - the most important religious holiday, the day of the Resurrection of Christ.
In Orthodoxy, its importance is reflected in the words "holiday of holidays and celebration of celebrations."
Date of celebration
The date of Easter every year is calculated according to the lunisolar calendar (there is a special table - the Alexandrian Easter), which makes the holiday transitional. This should be the first Sunday after the first full moon, which comes after the vernal equinox.
The range of the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ in different years can be from April 4 to May 8. From the date of Easter depend all the other passing church holidays.
Orthodox and Catholics celebrate the Resurrection of Christ on different days due to the fact that these churches use chronology of different calendars.
In 2018, Catholics celebrated Easter on April 1, Orthodox celebrate on April 8.
History of Easter
The Old Testament Passover became the prototype of the Easter. It was celebrated in memory of the Jewish people's exodus from the 400-year-old Egyptian slavery. Pesach (Jewish Passover) - in Hebrew "Passah" (literally "passed", "passed by") - a symbol of the Angel of Death passing the Jewish houses, while killed the first-borns of Egypt.
It is worth noting that the custom of celebrating Easter appeared before the exodus and was originally associated with cattle breeding, and later with farming.
In the New Testament, the name of the holiday acquired a new interpretation - liberation from the bondage of sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
According to legend, after Jesus Christ died, his body was carried to a cave and the entrance was closed with a huge stone. A day later, women came there to pour oil on his body, but they saw that the cave was empty. On the ground there was only a veil, in which the body of Christ was wrapped. The angel who appeared in the cave said that Christ rose from the dead.
Traditions and customs
Sleeping on the night of Easter Sunday is not accepted, you need to go to the church service - it is the most solemn service of the year. From midnight, Midnight service is taking place, after it - Easter matins. To the church and near it, Christians brought the Easter baskets with cakes, eggs, cheeses, meat to consecrate the products.
At the end of matins, the believers greet each other, saying "Christ is risen!" And answering "Truly he is risen!". So it is customary to greet each other this way all 40 days after Easter, before the Ascension.
After the festive divine service, Orthodox Christians usually "break fast" - they are treated with consecrated painted eggs and cakes at the temple or at home. Traditionally, the first product to be eaten was an egg (the coloration of which is one of the main Easter traditions). It symbolizes the Holy Sepulcher, in which eternal life is hidden. The shell is a stone that closed the entrance to the cave where Christ was buried. It is believed that a new life is encased under the shell. The red color, which usually eggs are painted in, symbolizes the suffering and the shed blood of Christ.
After the egg you need to eat a piece of Easter cake and only then - meat and other products.
When baking cake - you shouldn’t speak loudly and quarrel, there must be silence in the house;
After consecration of products in the temple you need to hurry: who will first come home with the cake – will have the better harvest;
If there is a thunderstorm at Easter, autumn will come late;
If it's overcast on this day - the summer will be cold;
Frost on the Resurrection of Christ - to a good harvest;
Cold, but not frosty weather - it will be a hot summer;
Starry night on Easter promises frost.
What is prohibited on this holiday
All work must be completed on the Great Saturday. As well as on all big religious holidays, on Easter it is categorically prohibited to do repair works, cleaning, washing and also to quarrel and swear. It is believed that on that day negative energy returns ten times more. At the same time you need to rejoice, invite guests, treat and help the suffering. There are no restrictions on food or beverages, the main rule is that everything should be in moderation.