Easter

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On Passion (Strasna) Friday Good Friday no work is done. In some localities, the Holy Shroud (plashchanytsia) is carried solemnly three times around the church and, after appropriate services, laid out for public veneration. For three days the community celebrates to the sound of bells and to the singing of spring songs vesnianky. Easter begins with the Easter matins and high mass, during which the pasky (traditional Easter breads) and pysanky and krashanky (decorated or colored Easter eggs) are blessed in the church. Butter, lard, cheese, roast-suckling pigs, sausage, smoked meat, and little napkins containing poppy seeds, millet, salt, pepper, and horseradish are also blessed. After the matins all the people in the congregation exchange Easter greetings, give each other krashanky, and then hurry home with their baskets of blessed food.

The pysanky and krashanky are an old pre-Christian element and have an important role in the Eater rites. They are given as gifts or exchanged as a sign of affection, and their shells are put in water for the rakhmany (peaceful souls); finally, they are placed on the graves of the dead or buried in graves and the next day are taken out and given to the poor. Related to the exchange of krashanky is the rite of sprinkling with water, which is still carried on in Western Ukraine. During the Easter season in Ukraine and Russia the cult of the dead is observed. The dead are remembered on Maundy Thursday and also during the whole week after Easter. For the commemoration of the dead (provody) the people gather in the cemetery by the church, bringing with them a dish containing some food and liquor or wine, which they consume, leaving the rest at the graves.

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The English, April 14/1996.

The English, March 12/1997.

The English, March 12/1995.

English Learners digest, April, 1995.

English Learners digest, April, 1997.

: 14/03/2008