Today begins the seventh and last week of Great Lent, preceding one of the main church holidays – the Resurrection of Christ.
It has many names - Great week, Pure week, White week, Holy Week. But all of them in one way or another reflect the essence of the upcoming six days, which the Orthodox Christian must devote to the last preparations for Easter.
Each of them is special, with its own strict rules and unique traditions.
Monday, April 22
On this day, during the church services priests recall the Old Testament story about Patriarch Joseph, sold by his own brothers into slavery, as a type of suffering Jesus Christ, and also the gospel narration about the curse of the fruitless fig tree, which symbolizes the soul which does not bring spiritual fruits - true repentance, faith, prayer, and good acts.
From Great Monday, the post becomes more stringent: you can eat raw vegetables and fruits, as well as bread, honey, and nuts. However, it is recommended to do this only once a day - in the evening.
In addition to the religion, people are trying to devote this day to the completion of housework – they paint, whiten, repair, remove.
Tuesday, April 23
On Great Tuesday, the churches recall the argue of Jesus and the Pharisees, as well as the parables he spoke in the Jerusalem Temple: about the resurrection of the dead, the Last Judgment and the end of the world.
The menu, as on the previous day, is raw fruits and vegetables, honey, nuts, and bread. It is desirable to eat them also only in the evening.
On this day, it is customary to finish darning, washing and ironing clothes.
In addition, it is already possible to slowly think over the holiday table, choose the tablecloth with which it will be laid, and the towels, with which you will go to the Easter service.
Wednesday, April 24
On Great Wednesday, Christians with sorrow recall the decision of Judas Iscariot about the betrayal of their Teacher for 30 silver coins, as well as the sinner, who, having washed with tears and anointed with the precious oil Christ’s feet, prepared Him for burial.
People eat raw vegetables and fruits, bread, food without oil.
On this day, the last rubbish was taken out of the house, eggs, and everything necessary for their coloring were prepared. According to legend, the eggs bought on this day will not spoil for a long time and will be perfectly painted.
Thursday, April 25
People call it Pure Thursday. Many still believe that the water on this day has healing properties, so they pay special attention to bathing, allegedly together with prayer it helps to preserve health for a whole year.
Four events are remembered in the church: the Last Supper, the washing of the feet of disciples by Christ, the prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, and Judah’s betrayal.
Those who came to the temple stand with lighted candles, which according to tradition they try not to blow out before returning home. Then you need to save the candle, it is believed to help to protect the house from fires throughout the year.
Also on this day, it is customary to take communion, to lay bread and consecrated salt on the table.
It is allowed to eat hot vegetable food with vegetable oil twice a day.
In addition, on a clean Thursday, people begin to dye eggs and make Easter cake. Before kneading the dough, be sure to pray, clean the soul and space around.
Also on this day, it is believed that the souls of the righteous return to earth to celebrate "Dead Easter." Therefore, at night people might see the ghosts.
Friday, April 26
People call it Good Friday. During the divine service on this day, the priest remembers the judgment, crucifixion, and death of Jesus Christ on the Cross. In particular, he reads the 12 Gospels of the Holy Passion of Christ, and in the evening the Canon about the crucifixion of the Lord is sung.
To make believers more imbued with the suffering of Christ, on Good Friday it is customary not to eat food at all.
You also cannot do anything around the house and be distracted by any things that can lead a person out of mourning. People say, "he who laughs on Friday will cry a whole year."
Saturday, April 27
This day is considered a day of rest. The church remembers the burial of Jesus Christ, the presence of His body in the tomb, the descent of His soul into Hell and the victory over death there.
Eating hot vegetable food without oil is allowed, but once a day.
Great Saturday is the most troublesome day for housewives - on this day everything should be prepared for the Easter feast, and also they finish baking Easter cakes and dying eggs.
In the evening, the Holy Liturgy takes place, after which the priest announces the gospel of the Resurrection of Christ and consecrate the Easter baskets.
Also, the Holy fire descends in Jerusalem on Saturday.
Sunday, April 28
At the end of Great Lent, when the soul and body are ready to accept the joy of Salvation, Great Sunday comes - Easter Day.
On this day, all restrictions are lifted. And not only restrictions on food. People are once again allowed to have fun with songs, dances and making weddings.