Easter in Romania

Easter

Easter is the oldest and most important holiday of the Christian religion. It gave people hope of salvation and eternal life, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Resurrection being, as one of our great priests once said, the only miracle that shows to everyone, believers and unbelievers.

Easter is about remembering the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The New Testament tells us that Christ, before suffering, predicted several times that he would be crucified and on the third day he would return from the dead. Fearing this, the Jews placed soldiers at the tomb of Jesus Christ, to guard his body. However, the miracle occurred, as it is written in the Bible.

Together with Sunday, the weekly rest day for Christians, Easter was celebrated since the apostolic age. According to the church, the Resurrection is not only the oldest Christian holiday, but the beginning and the culmination of all holidays and feasts. This chosen and holy day, the first day of the week, the feast of feasts, is the most important holiday of the year. Easter is preceded by 40 days of strict fast, then by the Holy Week.

Romanians celebrate Easter by customs and traditions strictly kept from year to year and handed down through generations. They boil eggs, then dye them in red color, symbolizing the blood of Christ. The eggs are then eaten during a very interesting ritual: each person knocks his egg against someone else’s egg. The knocking symbolizes the sacrifice of divinity for man kind. Traditionally, on the first day of Easter, eggs are knocked head to head, the day after they are knocked head to back, and during the next days, back to back. The first one to knock an egg is the oldest man sitting at the table. During the knocking, people pronounce the words “Christ has risen!”, to which the answer comes: “Truly He has risen!”, a formula also used as a common greeting in the following weeks.

On the night of the resurrection, people go to church, attending the Resurrection service and bring home some “light” – they light their candles from the priest’s candle during the ceremony, bringing home the holy flame, symbolizing life and power of divinity.