Orthodox and Catholic Easter: one reason, different traditions
What is the difference between Easter of Orthodox Christians and Catholic one? We tell as briefly as possible what, when, and how they make a religious holiday for this.
Believers celebrate Catholic and Orthodox Easter on different days and in different ways, even though there is only one holiday.
Easter (or the Bright Resurrection of Christ) is not tied to a specific date in both Orthodoxy and Catholicism. At the first, Easter day falls between April 4 and May 8, while the Roman Catholic Church and most Protestant denominations count on Easter between March 22 and April 25.
Different dates are due to differences in the date of church full moons and the difference between solar calendars (Gregorian in Catholicism and Julian in Orthodoxy). General rule – Easter is always Sunday.
Both Orthodox and Catholics fast before Easter. The Orthodox Lent lasts 7 weeks – this year from March 11 to April 27 (48 days). Catholic Lent is not much shorter – 40 days (excluding Sundays).
What is customary to eat at Easter meals is also different everywhere: somewhere we eat lamb, somewhere we use porridge made from rye flour and malt under vanilla ice-cream (omn omn omn).
Orthodox Christians usually bake Easter cakes – festive cylindrical bread with all kinds of decorations on top. Cylinder – because the exact same form is arthos (yeast church bread consecrated for Easter). Kulich is a home (folk) version of artos.
Most of all Catholic traditional dishes, the Italian Easter dove (Colomba di Pasqua) looks like Easter cake – the ingredients are the same, only the pastries themselves are shaped like a dove, not a top hat.
Yes, this is a dove.
The tradition of painting eggs is far from common in all countries. In Christianism, an egg is a symbol of the tomb and resurrection, and red is a symbol of the blood of Christ. But the tradition with chicken eggs remained mainly in Orthodoxy. In Western Europe, they switched to chocolate for a long time, although earlier they also painted ordinary ones. This is fun for children – sweets are hidden from the kids, and they run around with baskets and look for them.
We have this holiday tradition for children in Western Europe, the USA and Canada. Easter bunny throws eggs and other gifts to children. There are several versions of where the bunny rode, one of them even related to paganism.
Why is the hare a symbol of Easter
Once upon a time, different animals were engaged in laying eggs, but the bunny turned out to be the most tenacious and crowded out the rest. Only eared beast is engaged in catering for Easter. He appeared from German folk legends, where he has long been considered the sacred animal of the goddess Eostre (Eastre). The name of this goddess turned into the name of Easter both in German (Ostern), and in English (Easter) languages.
In medieval Christian texts, the hare also appeared quite often. In them, it was a symbol of the Immaculate Conception, because it was previously believed that hares are hermaphrodites.