In Orthodox Christianity, Easter always falls on a Sunday, but the date of the holiday can be different – as it can take place any day between April 4 and May 8.
The central part of the celebration and also a social activity among family and friends is the knocking of eggs – but first, the women of the household traditionally dye the eggs.
In the past, people used vegetables like beets, onions, cabbage, coffee, spinach and so on – to get their natural dyes onto the eggs.
Before stickers became available, eggs were dyed and decorated in the old-fashioned, and for that matter authentic way – by using clovers, fern branches and other leaves and flowers.
In observing Velika Sabota – Easter Vigil, on Saturday, people walk around the church three times and right after midnight, they can begin knocking the eggs.
This is the favourite part of the Easter celebration to the young, but there is more to its meaning than simply breaking your friends’ eggs.
The egg itself symbolizes birth, the sun and life, however, the breaking of eggs has two hidden explanations that are very important to learning about life: the custom symbolizes new beginnings and learning how to let go of things because of their transience.
Christ’s suffering on the cross and his resurrection is symbolic for the fact that we, as temporary residents in this world, need to learn how to accept pain and suffering.
The act of resurrection symbolizes overcoming suffering but also learning how to love life for what it is and doing it in a way that is human and loving of ourselves, other people and all creation on earth.
Christ’s resurrection has a very deep meaning about the cycle of living and dying. This meaning is precisely indicated by the Macedonian word for resurrection – voskresenie.
The term consists of two words: vos and krese. Vos means heights, rising up (ex: vozbuda – excitement). Krese means spark and light (ex: isKra – spark; kremen – flint stone). Joined together, the word Voskresenie means rising of the light.
In other words, Voskresenie speaks about the divine nature of Christ’s soul, because it has was filled with the Holy Spirit and it has risen to the heavens where it merged with God.
The Macedonian masters of the Christian faith, which includes knowledge that predates the Christian tradition, knew exactly that the act of the resurrection is essentially the connection that can be established between the soul and God.
Macedonia Times wishes all Christian believers and all Macedonians around the world a Happy Easter.
Hristos Voskrese – Vistina Voskrese!