Thursday, April 12, 2012

Celebrating The Orthodox Easter. Purpose, Traditions and Rituals

All over the world, the Christians (with few exceptions) are commemorating the day when Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead. The Easter represents one of the most important annual celebrations that commemorates the fundamental event of Christianity: The Resurrection of Jesus Christ, considered by the Christian religions the Son of God, in the third day after his crucifixion. 

 The date of Easter’s start marks the beginning of the Christian ecclesiastic year.

In Romania, the traditions relating this commemoration are a bit different than in other countries as we celebrate it after the rituals of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

The Easter celebration begins long before the Easter Sunday so, the Romanians follow distinct rituals and traditions such as: Lazar’s Saturday (Sambata lui Lazar), The Palm Sunday (Florii), The Big Thursday, The Big Friday and The Easter Sunday.

The Easter time lasts one week and it ends with The Deceased Ones Easter, a day dedicated to the souls of the dead ones.

Starting with The Big Thursday, the people will begin to paint the eggs in different colours, predominantly in red, using specific tools. As well as a cheese cake (pasca) will be prepared and baked. The shells of the eggs that are used for this cake will be thrown in the river to be carried away and to announce the Easter’s arrival.

Pasca - traditional sweet cheese cake

The Friday before the Easter Sunday is called The Big Friday or The Sorrows Friday and represents the day when Jesus Christ has been tortured and crucified. On Saturday, the people will go to Church for the midnight service or, with another name, The Ressurection bringing with them home made food dishes such as cheese cake, eggs and ham. During the service, the priest will bless the foods and as soon as the people will return home, they will eat the dishes and after will go to rest.

On Easter Sunday morning, the people are going to church and in the evening the whole family gathers to serve the dinner.

After a forty days fasting time, on Easter Sunday evening you can find on Romanian’s dinner tables different specialities made from lamb such as soup, sausages, drob (intestines pie), roasted meat as well desserts such as cozonac (pound cake - very similar to the Italian Panettone with nuts, cacao and raisins) and pasca (pound cake with sweet cheese, I love it!).

Cozonac - pound cake
Drob - lamb intestines pie

Before people will start to eat the coloured eggs, they will first knock two with each other saying “Jesus is Alive!” “Yes, indeed!”.

Recipe for Cozonac (English), here and here.
Recipe for Drob (Romanian), here.


No comments:

Post a Comment