One of the most important Christian holidays – Easter is approaching. It celebrates Jesus Christ’s resurrection after his crucifixion as proof of his divine power. The holy Bible testifies that this religious tradition has been practiced since the first century AD that is since the times of his disciples, the apostles.
Easter and the holidays related to it belong to the group of “movable feasts” which means that each year they occur on a different date. To determine the date, the orthodox church takes the first week after the full moon which is on the spring equinox or immediately after it. This date is always between 4th April and 8th May. This year this great Christian holiday is on 2nd May.
Many customs and tradition of Macedonian culture are related to this holiday, the preparations start with the Lent, which starts six weeks before Easter.
Maundy or Holy Thursday is the first day of the Easter holidays. On this day the sacrament Holy Communion was established, when Jesus Christ fed the apostles with bread and wine symbolizing his body and blood.
Maundy or Holy Thursday is the day of the greatest Easter tradition happens – dyeing the eggs in mostly red colour as a symbol for Jesus’ blood and defeat of death. In the past the eggs were dyed only in red colour, and now the families dye them in different colours. Dyeing the. Eggs dyeing is believed to originate from Maria Magdalene. There are several stories related to this and some of them say that she took boiled eggs to his crucifixion and they were dyed red from his blood. Others say that Maria Magdalene took eggs to his grave, three days after Christ’s death and they dyed red when they opened his tomb and saw it was empty. The first three red eggs are dedicated to God, the master of the house and the third one for the happiness and abundance of the home.
Good Friday is the day of Christ’s crucifixion. This is a day of strict fasting when many believers do not eat or drink anything until sunset.
Easter is the day of Christ’s resurrection. On this day the Easter lent period ends. On this and the next forty days, the orthodox Christians greet each other with “Christ has resurrected” and it is relied with “He has truly resurrected” (translation from „Христос воскресна“ на што се одговара со „Навистина воскресна“).
Because of the situation with the Corona virus, this year, similarly like last year, Easter is going to be celebrated in a different way. Big families sitting around the full tables, full churches, visiting friends and other community gatherings will be replaced with simpler celebrations in our homes with only with the closest family members around us. Most believers will must avoid the crowds in the churches, observing the measures enforced by the Government and some church liturgies will be available on TV.
The most important thing in this period is to take care of our and other people’s health, and to have a happy holiday with our closest ones at the same time. Happy Easter!
Authors: A. Dzugovska (9-1) and M. Popovska (9-1)
The original article is published in the school online digital newspaper L.A. IN-formator