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Easter in Romania and

England
Easter in Romania
Easter is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm throughout the world. On
the occasion of Easter, the Christian community presents in every nook and corner of
the world celebrates this day as the day of the resurrection of Jesus Christ after
crucifixion. he celebration of Easter is marked by morning services at the church and
feasting and party in the evening. !n almost all the countries around the world, the
festivities of Easter are more or less the same. "owever, certain specific traditions of
the place make the Easter at a particular country stand a little different from the other.
Easter in #omania is celebrated according to the rituals of the Eastern
Orthodox Church. he Easter entire season consists of $lowers %aturday &'azarus(
%aturday), *alm +ay &$lowers +ay), ,reat hursday, ,reat $riday, Easter, the %mall
$ountain and ,ood *eople(s Easter. Each of these has small interesting rituals. he
Easter celebration goes on for a long week and finally wraps with ,ood *eople(s
Easter celebrated in honour of the ancient spirits. he $riday before the Easter is
called the ,reat $riday or the $riday of sufferings, as it is the day when Jesus was
crucified.
On %aturday, people go to church for the midnight mass, taking with them a bowl of
*asca, eggs and steak, where these aliments are blessed by the clergy. On returning
home from the mass, people first eat some of the sanctified aliments and only then the
rest.
%tarting with "oly hursday, people start painting eggs in a multitude of colours. he
predominant colour is red, but other colours are also applied - yellow, green, blue and
even black. +ecorated eggs or .ou/ 0ncondeiate. are an integral part of Easter
celebration in #omania. he eggs are decorated using a type of thin and round sticks
called chi1i2/ made of beech wood. he special Easter cake, known as *asca, is baked
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on ,reat hursday. he *asca can have a round shape &reminding little Jesus.
diapers) or a rectangular one &the shape of his grave). he shells of the eggs used for
the *asca are thrown in a river. his action stems from the ancient belief that the
shells are taken by the river to the country of the ,ood *eople, announcing them the
Easter has came.
!n some regions &3ucovina, ransylvania), there is a tradition called 4the wetting4. On
5onday morning, the boys take a bucket of water and go to the houses of the
unmarried girls. !f they found them sleeping, the boys throw water on them. 6s it is
believed that those girls will marry soon, they reward the boys who had wetted them by
giving them the most beautiful decorated eggs and *asca or cake.
"owever, all the Easter traditions span around the historical fact that Jesus Christ7 the
%on of ,od is alive.
Why Two Dates?
he Eastern Church and 8estern Church have separate dates for Easter.
Occasionally, Easter falls on the same %unday &in 9:;: and 9:;;, we celebrated
together), but usually the celebrations are separated by a week or two. his means that
in any given year, you might find #oman Catholic "ungarians in the area celebrating
Easter one %unday, while the Orthodox #omanians might be celebrating a week or two
later. !n 9::<, the dates were spread very far apart= the 8estern churches celebrated on
5arch 9> and the Orthodox churches on 5ay ;.
#omanian evangelicals go with the ma?ority of #omanians and choose to
celebrate with the Orthodox. 3ut #omanian evangelical churches in the 8est &in the
@nited %tates or ,reat 3ritain) generally celebrate together with the ma?ority of
Christians in their area.
8hy the different datesA 3oth the Eastern and 8estern churches claim to
celebrate Easter on Bthe first %unday after the first full moon on or after the vernal
eCuinox.D he problem is that 8estern church uses the ,regorian calendar to
establish this %unday, while the Eastern Church uses the older, Julian calendar. 8hen
the different definitions of Bvernal eCuinoxD and Bfull moonD are taken into
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consideration, it is no wonder that the two church traditions do not come to a mutual
understanding.
$urthermore, the Orthodox Church always places Easter after the Jewish *assover,
which means that the date may sometimes be the first %unday in 5ay. Easter
observance in the 8estern Church often precedes the *assover by weeks.
Easter in England
he celebration of Easter in England began well before the arrival of
Christianity. !n the *re-Christian Era, the festival was observed in honour of the 6nglo
%axon ,oddess - Ester.
oday, in England, the festivities of Easter begin with 'ent, which falls on 6sh
8ednesday, and lasts for E: days. Easter celebration in England is a low-key affair, as
people prefer religious observations as compared to ?oyous merriment. Easter is an
occasion for sober worship and Cuiet family gatherings without the extravagance that
accompanies festivals like Christmas. Fevertheless, spring time celebrations are
gleefully observed in rural land of the country. Easter eggs, games, feasting and fun
activities all are part of the festivities, even though the main celebrations are seen in
churches of the country.
Easter Celebration in England
Palm Sunday
he celebration of Easter in England commences a week before the day, to be
specific, on *alm %unday. he name has its origin in the #oman times, when it was a
customary to welcome royalty by waving the branches of palm tree. 6ccording to the
legends, Jesus arrived in Jerusalem on *alm %unday and therefore, people welcomed
him by laying a carpet of palm branches in the streets and holding one in each of their
hands, to wave them to the lord. Even today, people in England go in parades on *alm
%unday, by carrying the palm branches. he palm branches are often made into
garlands and crosses, to use them to decorate the church.
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Morris Dance
!n many parts of England, professional troupes of dancers perform 5orris +ance
on Easter %unday. hese troupes of dancers, almost exclusively male, perform old
spring dances to frighten away the veil spirits of winter. he dancers clad themselves in
beautiful white shorts, red sashes, black trousers and straw hats, with lots of flowers
and streamers. #ed and green ribbons and little bells are tied onto the dancers, to
complete the look.
Easter in Villages
English villages, with their Cuaint charm, provides the perfect backdrop for
witnessing traditional Easter traditions of England. +uring the ceremonious occasion
of Easter, the village church would be bedecked with fresh flowers. raditional Easter
egg hunts are organized in the villages, wherein the Easter 3unny hides Easter eggs
for the local children to find. he village bakery would offer fragrant hot cross buns,
warm from the oven, and %imnel cakes, with home made .marzipan. &a paste made
with almond and sugar, generally used as icing for cakes and pastries).
Hot Cross Buns
"ot cross buns, now eaten throughout the Easter season, were first baked in
England to be served on ,ood $riday. hese small, lightly sweet yeast buns contain
raisins or currants and sometimes chopped candied fruit. 3efore baking, a cross is
slashed in the top of the bun. 6fter baking, a confectioners. sugar icing is used to fill
the cross.
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Dressing Up For Easter
Easter was once a traditional day for getting married, which may be why people
often dress up for Easter. 8omen would make and wear special Easter bonnets -
decorated with flowers and ribbons. Even today in 3attersea in 'ondon there is a
special Easter *arade, where hand-made bonnets are shown off.
The meaning o Easter
he meaning of Easter is Jesus Christ.s victory over death. "is resurrection
symbolizes the eternal life that is granted to all who believe in "im. he meaning of
Easter also symbolizes the complete verification of all that Jesus preached and taught
during "is three-year ministry. !f "e had not risen from the dead, if "e had merely
died and not been resurrected, "e would have been considered ?ust another teacher or
#abbi. "owever, "is resurrection changed all that and gave final and irrefutable proof
that "e was really the %on of ,od and that "e had conCuered death once and for all.
"owever, Easter did not always symbolize Christ.s resurrection from the dead and the
meaning of Easter was Cuite different than what Christians celebrate today. he feast
day of Easter was originally a pagan celebration of renewal and rebirth. Celebrated in
the early spring, it honoured the pagan %axon goddess Easter. 8hen the early
missionaries converted the %axons to Christianity, the holiday, since it fell around the
same time as the traditional memorial of Christ.s resurrection from the dead, was
merged with the pagan celebration, and became know as Easter. he meaning of
Easter was also changed to reflect its new Christian orientation.
oday, the meaning of Easter, for million of Christians, is that of honouring
and recognizing Jesus Christ.s resurrection from the dead, and "is glorious promises
of eternal life for all who believe in "im.
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