Knowing when Russian and Ukrainian women celebrate certain holidays can be confusing, due to the differences in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. Last year, Western men and their Slavic girlfriends celebrated Easter on the same day. However, this year, the holidays falls on different dates: April 8th in the West and April 15th in the East.
Most Eastern European ladies will celebrate on both occasions, similar to the Christmas and New Year holidays. And, like those other holidays, preparing delicious foods for incredible feasts is one of the traditions.
Easter is called Pascha in Russian, but it is also the name of a special sweet bread eaten on Easter Sunday in countries like Ukraine, Slovakia, and Poland. Made with simply butter, eggs, and sugar, Pascha is often eaten with hrudka, also called syrek, a bland sweet custard similar to cheese made from separated eggs and milk and beets mixed with horseradish. Christian symbolism can be found in the bread, such as the swirl of yellow and white on the inside that represents the risen Christ and the Holy Spirit.
Another traditional treat is Kulich, a cake-like Easter bread that is popular in Russia, Belarus, Bulgaria, and Serbia. Baked in tall, cylindrical tins, Kulich is decorated with white icing, slightly drizzled down the sides. The letters XB are also included on the icing which stand for the traditional Easter greeting of Христос воскресе, "Christ is Risen".
Decorating Easter eggs is another common tradition practiced by Russian and Ukrainian girls. In fact, Ukrainians are famous for pysanky -- intricate, brightly colored eggs created by the batik or wax resist process. The Pysanka Museum is located in the Ukrainian city of Kolomiya, Ivano-Frankivska Oblast; it's the only museum in the world dedicated to pysanka.
Eggs are also dyed, with the predominant color being red to represent the blood of Christ. Onion skins, red cabbages, or beets are used to achieve the perfect shade. Pascha, kulich, and the red eggs are all placed in a basket with flowers to be blessed by the priest.
Don't forget to let the ladies know you're thinking about them on what is one of the most important holidays in Russia and Ukraine! You can attach Easter Virtual Cards to emails, as well as watch them streaming live video for 50% OFF on Sunday, April 8th!