Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Romanian Easter #1 - Tradition

Today I (Jana) will begin a four blog series of Easter in Romania.  As some of you know already from following our posts on facebook, Easter in Romania follows the Eastern Orthodox Calendar for all the churches except the Catholic Church here.  So this year that meant that Easter was exactly one week after Easter in the United States.  There is a great emphasis on Easter here in Romania (exactly as it should be) and it is filled with many traditions and special services leading up to Easter as well as following Easter.

Very similar to many churches in the United States.... they have a service on Palm Sunday to commemorate the triumphant entry, then on Thursday with communion to remember the Last Supper. Friday is called Black Friday (not to be confused with our Black Friday of course), it is a day of mourning... some will fast, many will not cook or do any major activities until later in the day. They will have church that evening focusing on the cross.

Saturday is the day of preparations... egg decorating, baking, cooking and preparing for the Easter Celebration.

Sunday is Easter - They do two services on Easter just like they do each Sunday, one in the morning and one in the evening. Families will then get together and celebrate over a meal.  One of the cool things they do is have everyone at the table take a colored egg and they turn to a person next to them and crack their egg off the other and proclaim... Hristos A Inviat - Which means Christ is risen!  That is definately a tradition I would like to bring home with us.

Easter then continues into Monday.  Most people don't work, many of the stores are closed, and because it was so nice out... it seemed as though everyone was out and about enjoying time with friends and family. The morning begins with another church service.  Then in the afternoon there is a city wide celebration service called the Easter March (More about that to come).

Along with all these traditions and services within the protestant churches, there are also some fascinating traditions and services within the Orthodox church which we were able to observe since we live just down the street from the church (more to come on this as well)

Over the next few days we will take some time to go into more detail for those that are interested in seeing more pictures and learning more about Easter in Romania.

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