I was born and raised an Orthodox. My parents were never extremely religious and as a result, neither am I, but I respect it and I love the traditions I grew up with. Easter – from a religious point of view – is probably one of the most important celebrations.
First of all, let me begin with some essential knowledge about Easter:
- Easter is celebrated on a different date each year;
- Catholics and Orthodox usually celebrate Easter on different dates for each religion, due to the different algorithm of determining when Easter will be celebrated;
- Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
Now that we’ve settled this down…
Romanian people are Ortodox, like Russian and Greek people.
… which means that we celebrate Easter on a different date than… pretty much the other cultures. The Catholic Easter is one week before the Orthodox one or vice versa depending on what you prefer. But the big question is:
How do Romanians Celebrate Easter?
Let’s start with some basic knowledge:
- we celebrate is for three days (just like Christmas);
- the first two days are legally free days;
- the first day of Easter is always on a Sunday – this is probably not new;
One of my favourite part of Easter is, of course, the food. Although the main dish is made out of lamb, my Mum uses other types of meat instead.
The traditional dishes are:
- red painted (boiled) eggs
- cottage cheese pie
- lamb roast
- and the most Eastery dish is the drob.
Originally drop recipe is made of lamb organs mixed with herbs, spring onions, and – my favourite thing – whole eggs in the meat mixture (like in the picture below). As I mentioned I don’t really like lamb. We usually have it with chicken or turkey (not crazy about pork either).
The church considers resurrection as a supernatural event that needs to be celebrated properly. So in terms of religious traditions, Easter is quite special. I personally love Christmas more, but…
On Easter Eve, at midnight everyone is going to the church to take the holy light. We bring home the candles lit by the holy light. It’s said that you should let the light burn for three days. Depending on the region, customs might be different, but everyone goes to the church at midnight.
On Easter morning the first one who wakes up, puts water, two eggs (one plain and one red) and a coin in a bowl. Each member of the family will rub the coin and eggs on their faces when they wake up and the last member to wake up gets the coin – I know that it sounds weird to rub an egg on your face, but it’s quite pampering. Oh, and we eat the food that Mum spent one week to put together.
We’ve recently started to “import” the Easter Egss treasure hunting. When I was a kid we didn’t have that, but I noticed that nowadays parents held Easter eggs hunting for their kids.
I personally prefer Christmas against Easter. To me, Christmas was always more magical than Easter.
What Easter traditions and foods do you have in your country? Let me know in the comments down below!