The day preceding the most joyous Christian holiday – Easter, is Good Friday. According to Church teaching, Jesus was crucified on this very day, in 33 BC. On saturday he was buried in the grave in Joseph’s garden, and on Sunday at dawn, there was a strong earthquake and an angel of God landed on his grave. The guards who were guarding the tomb, in that moment, fell as dead in their fear, and Jesus Christ was resurrected. On Good Friday, when we commemorate the crucifixion of Christ, in the afternoon, in ortodox churches, the priest place “plaštanica” (canvas depicting laying Christ in the tomb), which believers come to see and pray upon it until Easter day. According to popular belief, when standing beside this canvas, you should pray to God and concentrate your thoughts on everything that you desire, and that your strongest desires will be fulfilled. On Good Friday, it is desirable not to eat anything, but if you eat – fasting is required.
Easter is celebrated for three days and is a so-called “movable” feast, which means that its date changes each year, but it always has to be on Sunday. This holiday is the most joyous Christian holiday because it celebrates the resurrection and immortality of the soul, and speaks of the existence of the afterlife, but it also symbolizes the victory of light over darkness. Of good over evil.
WHO WAS THE “DOUBTING THOMAS”
At Easter, according to Christian belief, resurrected Jesus Christ first stumbled upon Mary Magdalene, and then he shown himself to his disciples. Only one disciple, Thomas, who was absent in that moment, did not immediately believe that Christ has risen from the dead, and he had to go to his empty grave to make sure. Because of that, even centuries and millenniums after that, there is a saying: “doubting Thomas.”
WHAT TO DO AND WHAT NOT TO DO ON EASTER DAY
On Easter morning, according to our ancestors, we should get up early, and avoid going to bed before midnight. Otherwise, it is considered that you will spend the whole next year sleepy and lazy. You should also wash your face with water in which it is immersed cornel, some basil, and a red egg. Every child should be touched with a red egg on the head and cheeks to be rosy and healthy all year round. Firstly, in the morning, you should eat an eastern egg for breakfast, and then go to the morning service in the church. If Easter day fell before St. George’s day – people say that you should not eat lamb on the Easter feast. Housewives make special breads for this occasion – in Eastern Serbia and parts of Vojvodina they bake buns with whole egg inserted in the center of that home-made bun and it is called – “kovržanjak”.
The second day of Easter is called – “Pobusani” Monday. On this day people in Serbia go to the cemetery and the graves of every deceased and their loved ones, to leave one red egg, in the glory of the beloved departed ancestors. This day is also called “Watery” Monday, because then the boys pour water on girls and young women who are unmarried, due to believes that this will bring good luck in love. If you are involved in agriculture, on this monday you should leave a broken Easter egg in a field, and that land will be productive and fertile in the following year.
On the day of Easter folks are shagging eggs. Whoever wins, takes the egg of his “opponents”.
If you have not yet, or you have no idea how to dye and decorate Easter eggs this year, we suggest you try one of the widely known traditional and completely natural methods – you can dye them with onion, red cabbage, spinach, red onions, blueberries or beets. If you are young and adventurous, however, we suggest you try your luck in one of the more alternative, modern methods of dyeing and decorating eastern eggs such as – decoupage technique, “marble” eggs, drawing wax or some of the gel paints, and decorate it with gold foil or crystals. One egg, usually vibrantly red colored, must be displayed somewhere in the house and it is called “Čuvarkuća”.
Whichever of the following options you chose, you will not go wrong, because on the Easter day it is most important just to keep warm, to be in the same place with your loved ones, enjoying in the home atmosphere, and spend his glorious holiday in peace and harmony, with joy and happiness, celebrating the immortality of the soul and resurrection.