Most Christians refer to the week before Easter as “Holy Week”, which contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Maundy and Last Supper, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus.In Western Christianity, Eastertide, or the Easter Season, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts seven weeks, ending with the coming of the 50th day, Pentecost Sunday. In Eastern Christianity, the season of Pascha begins on Pascha and ends with the coming of the 40th day, the Feast of the Ascension.
Easter in Armenia
Armenia is the oldest Christian country in the world, having declared itself a Christian country in 301 AD.The Easter holiday begins at 17:00 on the Saturday before Easter Sunday. People flock to churches and cathedrals, enterprising men peddle candles and flowers at entrances to church grounds, and groups of giggling children walk throughout the city handing out small Easter cards of their own creation to random passers by.We were strolling through the bustling streets, admiring the candle lights while trying to walk off some of the Armenian pizzas we had just consumed, when we heard church music floating through the air from Republic Square. Rows of soldiers and civilians clutching candles were gathered in the square, which contained another square of candles. As the music played on, the rows took turns marching to the center, congregating around the center square. As the last people stepped into their places, the music stopped, and candles were raised. Voices called out, chanting in Armenian, when suddenly everybody placed their candles on the ground and broke formation.
Easter in America
For people with strong Christian beliefs, the cross that Jesus was crucified on and his resurrection are important symbols of the period around Easter. Other symbols of Easter include real eggs or eggs manufactured from a range of materials, nests, lambs and rabbits or hares.Many churches hold special services on Easter Sunday, which celebrate the Jesus Christ’s resurrection after his crucifixion. Many people also decorate eggs. These can be hard boiled eggs that can be eaten later, but may also be model eggs made of plastic, chocolate, candy or other materials. It is also common to organize Easter egg hunts. Eggs of some form are hidden, supposedly by a rabbit or hare. People, especially children, then search for them. In some areas, Easter egg hunts are a popular way for local businesses to promote themselves or may even be organized by churches.
Easter in Russian
The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Easter according to the Orthodox calendar, and so it can occur in April or May. Like many countries in Eastern Europe, Russians celebrate Easter with decorated eggs, special foods, and customs. For example, it’s customary for many Russians to thoroughly clean their house before the Easter holidays, similar to the American version of “spring cleaning.”The Russian Easter egg tradition dates back to pre-Christian times when people saw eggs as fertility symbols and as symbols of protection. In addition to the importance placed on eggs during this holiday, Russians celebrate Easter with a special breakfast or Easter meal.