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Easter in Russia, Ukraine

22. April 2011 by Christy 0 Comments

Easter is this Sunday and many Russian and Ukrainian women have big plans for this important religious holiday. Here are a few special Easter traditions your lady may observe.

 

During the last week of Lent, Russian women begin preparations for Easter. Ladies clean their homes from top to bottom and prepare symbolic food like paskha (Easter bread) and kulich (Easter cake) which they will later bring to church for a priest’s blessing. The week preceding Easter is also a time for decorating eggs, including the famous pysanka of Ukraine (above). There are many kinds of decorated eggs (krashanky, pysankay, krapanky, etc.), but pysanka are those decorated with traditional Ukrainian folk designs. 


On Good Friday and Good Saturday, many Russians attend a candlelit mass and after Saturday’s services it’s time for the blessing of Easter baskets. A good Easter basket is made of willow, lined with embroidered cloth, and contains a sampling of delicious Easter food like pashka, pysanky (decorative eggs), cheese, ham, salo (pork fat), kovbasa (sausage), and more. When it’s time for the blessing, Russians place a lit candle into the pashka and await the priest.

 

After the basket blessing, Russian and Ukrainian citizens head home to share the blessed food and break Lent. Plenty of horilka (Ukrainian vodka) accompanies the Easter feast. Russians typically spend Easter Sunday with family, eating, drinking, and singing hayivky (traditional folk songs).  It’s also common for children to have krashanka (boiled, dyed eggs) battles on Easter. Two children will bang their eggs together to see whose egg cracks first. Sometimes the winner will keep the cracked egg while other times the loser will eat it.

 

How will your Russian lady celebrate the Easter holiday? If you don't know, ask! Asking a lady about her Easter traditions and sharing your own is a fun and easy to way to get to know one another.

 

Happy Easter!