The main event of the year for Christians, the main Christian Orthodox Holiday – Easter is on the 20th of April this year!
The word “Easter” comes to us from Greek and means “deliverance”.
According to the New Testament, the Savior was resurrected on the third day after his death on the cross to atone for human sins. This event marks the victory of the Gospel of the Lord over sin and death and the beginning of a new world, redeemed by Jesus Christ.
Belief in the Resurrection is at the heart of Christianity. According to the Apostle Paul, “if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile.”
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 (buisquits with raisins), and hand paint eggs widely known as Pysanka.
On Easter night people go to their local church, spending the entire night in Church services! Usually they take with them Easter cakes, painted eggs, and bottles of wine. 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 the day.
According to the legend, the custom of painting eggs is associated with the name of St. Mary Magdalene, who gave the emperor Tiberius a white egg with the words: “Christ is risen!”. “I do not believe it, – said the Emperor – it is not possible like it is impossible for the white egg in your hand to become red.” And at the same moment the egg changed its color.
From the day of Easter until Ascension of the Lord, which is celebrated on the fortieth day after Easter, believers greet each other with the words: “Christ is Risen! – Truly He is Risen!” followed with kisses and the exchanging of gifts. (“Khrystos Voskrese!” – “Voyistynu Voskrese!”)
In all Orthodox churches the solemn Easter services are held during the Sunday night.
We heartily congratulate you with the Holy Easter and wishing you the fulfillment of all your hopes and good beginnings, peace, kindness and love.