The Orthodox World Celebrates Easter

English Language Study for Russian Orthodox Learners

The Orthodox World Celebrates Easteraudio button

Christ is risen!Easter, the feast of the Resurrection of Christ our Saviour, is the holiest day of the year.  Great festivities take place on Easter Sunday.  Orthodox Christians around the world prepare for this most important holiday by observing the Great Lent, praying and giving alms.

In Greece, all the shops are closed on Good Friday, and flags are lowered in commemoration of Jesus being taken from the Cross.  People go to church to see the priests wrap the icon of Christ in cloth and put it in a casket covered with flowers.  The casket symbolizes the tomb of Christ.  Then, a procession of believers moves through the streets.  On Holy Saturday, Greek women prepare lamb for the holiday meal the next day.  Everybody goes to church on Saturday night and holds lit candles.  At midnight, when the priest announces, “Christos Anesti!” people answer, “Aleithos Anesti!” and kiss each other.  Fireworks fill the dark night with light.  After this, everybody goes home for a festive meal of lamb, dyed eggs and cakes.

Easter eggsDuring Holy Week in Bulgaria, believers send gifts of home-made bread and red eggs to their friends and relatives.   After the midnight Saturday service, people in the church crack eggs with each other.

In Serbia, the first dyed egg is put aside by the family icon and saved for St. George’s Day.  Most of the cooking is done on Thursday and Saturday.  Good Friday is a day for strict fasting and attending church services.  Every guest who visits a Serbian family on Easter Sunday is greeted with beautifully decorated eggs and the words, “Christos Voskrese!”

On Holy Thursday in Romania, women make Pasca.  The shells of the eggs used for Pasca are thrown into the river.  It means Easter is coming.  In some regions of Romania there is a tradition of pouring water on unmarried girls on Bright Monday.  Early in the morning, a young man with a bucket of water comes to a house where a young girl lives.  If she is still asleep at that time, he pours water on her.  People believe that after that she will soon marry.  The girl thanks the young man and gives him a cake and colourful eggs.

Cultural traditions vary (отличаются), but the joyous feeling is the same for all Christians on this glorious day of Christ’s victory over death.

Christ is Risen!  Truly He is Risen!


Easter  [ˈɪːstəʳ]
Greece  [grɪːs]
Bulgaria  [bʌlˈgeə rɪə]
Serbia  [ˈsəːbɪə]
Romania  [rəuˈmeɪ nɪə]

Словарь к тексту

festivities, n. [fǝ ′stɪ vǝ tɪz] празднества
Great Lent Великий пост
give alms [′gɪ:v ′a:mz] давать милостыню
Good Friday Страстная Пятница
casket, n. [ˈkɑːskɪt] гроб
lamb, n. [lӕm] ягнёнок; the Lamb of God Агнец Божий
light (lit-lit), v. [laɪt] зажигать; lit зажжённый
fireworks, n. [ˈfaɪəwəːks] фейерверк
put aside отложить
bucket, n. [′bʌkɪt] ведро
rise, v. [raɪz] (rose [rouz]-risen [rɪzn]) вставать, воскресать