30Apr2019

DIFFERENT WAYS TO CELEBRATE EASTER — Mariam (GEORGIA)

Easter, the biggest holiday of the Christian world, is celebrated the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Despite the importance of this day for all Christian countries, there are differences in how different nations celebrate Easter. Here are some examples shared by international students of the University of Tartu.

Passion Plays in Mexico dramatize Jesus crucifixion. Photo: Tomas Castelazo

Guillermo Chavez Garcia, Mexico

“Easter is kind of big in some places in Mexico. During lent people usually give up eating meat on Fridays, or give up something they like for the 40 days period. Then Holy Thursday and Good Friday are usually national holidays, and it is the beginning of the Mexican spring break vacation period. In many places, there are representations of the passion of Christ, the biggest one is in Iztapalapa in Mexico City. Some families adopted the tradition of the egg hunt too, with decorated eggs.”

Photo: Vassilis / Flickr

Mariam Tlashadze, Georgia

“Easter is one of the most important and favourite celebrations in Georgia. Preparations start months earlier, usually late February or beginning of March with the Easter feast. This is one of the longest fastings periods during the year. The Easter week or “Holy Week” is the hardest one, there are holy masses every day in churches, people go and listen preaches, parts from Holy Bible. Friday before Easter is the hardest day of the week — this is the day when Judas betrayed Jesus. We colour eggs in red, but we are not supposed to break them until Easter Sunday. During that time, there is big preparation in families. We make food, bake Easter sweet “Paska”, and pray. On Saturday night we all get together in the church and waiting for the Holy Fire from Jerusalem arrived. We celebrate Easter together with our friends, families, and relatives. The great fasting finishes by that time, so it’s also associated with lots of traditional Easter and Georgian food for Sunday.”

Sourse: Alexander Ryumin / TASS

Uliana Buldakova, Russia

“Easter is one of the most important holidays for the Orthodox community in Russia. It is a family holiday and we celebrate it in a traditional way. We go to Easter ceremonies in churches and prepare special food.  Main Russian Orthodox Easter dishes are eggs, Kulich (sweet bread) and Paskha (a dessert made from cottage cheese, nuts and raisin). We decorate eggs and colour them boiling with onion skins. We also congratulate each other giving eggs as a gift, telling “Christ has risen! He has truly risen!” and kissing three times on the cheeks.”

Photo: GERHARD FALLY / Viennaweekends

Austria

“Easter is celebrated slightly different in different parts of Austria because we have different traditions in different places (e.g. in terms of which traditional food is eaten etc). My family comes from the south of Austria. But overall, at school and at the university we have one or two weeks long Easter holidays. For workers, Easter Monday is always a day off. Shops are closed on Easter Saturday and following Monday from noon usually. In all parts of Austria, Easter is often celebrated with the whole extended family, so with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. In my family, we have a tradition to go to the church to celebrate the resurrection of Christ and to get a blessing for the food that is going to be eaten on Easter Sunday. Therefore we bring traditional food in a basket to church. On Easter Sunday, we have a big Easter meal with the whole family. We eat traditional ham which is baked in bread, horseradish, and of course tons of coloured Easter eggs. The traditional food varies throughout the country, but everywhere we have coloured eggs. For kids, there’s always an egg hunt and presents that the Easter bunny has brought. All in all, Easter is a big celebration where we have good food and all the family comes together.”

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