If your visit to St. Petersburg falls on the period from April 5 to May 8, then you are likely to participate in one of the most important holy day – Bright Resurrection, or Easter. This year it is on 20th of April.
If you live with a host family, you may have already know that the last week before Easter is called Holy Week, believers observe a strict fast, sometimes limited to just water and bread; they call Thursday of the Holy Week «Maundy», clean up their homes and go to the bath. Starting from Thursday people paint eggs and bake Easter cakes. On Saturday before Easter the cakes and eggs are consecrated in the church.
In St. Petersburg, as well as in other cities of Russia, believers meet the Resurrection of Christ in the churches. Formal night service ends with a procession towards the morning.
On the day of Easter it is customary to share the money and treats with poor people, that’s why on this day you can meet a lot of people asking for alms at the churches entrances. This is the best time for volunteering and chariting.
One of the most important attributes of Easter is a painted Easter egg. Since ancient times it is considered to be a symbol of fertility, spring and foundation of a new life. However, the most important dish on Easter is Easter cake. He is a symbol of the resurrection of Christ and His presence at the banquet table.
Easter and Easter cake are reflected in the architecture. Be sure to visit the Svyato-Troitskaya Church, which people call the «Kulich and Pascha» (Easter cake and Easter): it is the round-shaped church with the bell tower in the form of four-sided pyramid.
People celebrate Easter with their families or meet with their relatives at the big table rich in different dishes; it is customary to bring some painted eggs and say «Christ is risen!» — «Truly arisen!», kissing each other three times. Russian Easter is also characterized by a variety of games. The most popular is egg tapping (when one holds a hard-boiled egg and taps the egg of another participant with one’s own egg intending to break the other’s, without breaking one’s own), and rolling eggs from a small slope (the second egg should hit and budge the first one).
Enjoy the Bright Resurrection with your Russian friends and share your experience with us!