Russian Easter Traditions
Russians take celebrating Easter very, very seriously. It is arguably the most important religious holiday to Russians. They celebrate for an entire week, called Holy Week, and have huge feasts. Orthodox Russians usually celebrate Easter later than Western Europe because Orthodox Russians follow the Julian calendar, however this year they perfectly align on April 16th. The night before Easter, Russians dress to the nines and attend mass. From cooking in advance to Spring cleaning, the entire week leading up to Easter Sunday is full of preparation. When that Easter Sunday finally rolls around, Russians are eager to break their Lent diets and dig into some delicious food. Two of the most traditional foods served on a Russian Easter table is “kulich” and “paskha”. Kulich is Easter bread and is made ahead of time due to its lengthy to-do list. However, once it is finished, it is incredibly soft and delicious. With icing draped over the top and decorated with sprinkles, kulich is wonderfully delicious. It is said that the rest of your year will mirror the quality of your kulich, so attention to detail is a must.
Alongside the kulich is paskha, a soft farmer’s cheese that’s decorated with dried fruit. Using very specific molds, paskha is formed into a traditional tower shape, representative of the church. On Easter morning, it is customary to visit your neighbors and friends and give red colored Easter eggs. Shades of red are very popular for coloring Easter eggs in Russia, and are usually given as a token of celebration to loved ones. Speaking of loved ones, it’s very common to see people do a “triple kiss” during Easter. When greeting your family and friends, planting a triple kiss is a sign of love, hope, and a symbol of the Trinity. Russians love to have a good time during Easter and celebrate with copious amounts of delicious food surrounded by their loved ones.