Russia Culture Traditions Easter Eggs

Easter Eggs

The traditional Easter fare of Russian Orthodox Christians is kulich (Easter cake), pascha (a sweet cream-cheese dish) and painted Easter eggs.

The presenting of Easter eggs began during the Easter service, when singing the Paschal Stichera: “This is the day of Resurrection, let us be radiant for the feast and let us embrace one another!” This action was accompanied by three kisses and the words “Christ Has Risen!”

The custom of painting Easter eggs dates from the first century AD. A popular Easter amusement was to then roll the eggs, beginning on Easter Sunday and often continuing throughout the whole of Easter week.

The eggs were rolled down a hillock or a special chute. Only when an egg hit an object lying on the ground could its owner claim the egg. The winner was the person whose egg rolled the furthest. Often the entire village would turn out to watch the rolling of the eggs.

This custom is linked to the pagan belief in the power of magic. The egg symbolised the birth of new life on earth and its contact with the earth was believed to awaken and fertilise the earth after winter.

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