Easter in Russia is one of the two most important Russian religious holidays. Just like Christmas, Easter in Russia is celebrated according to the Julian calendar. It usually occurs in April or May, about two weeks after it’s celebrated by the Western Christians.
Easter in Russia is perhaps the only religious holiday that somewhat celebrated even during the Soviet times. Thanks to the generation of great-grandparents and grandparents, many Soviet children, even though raised in the atheistic environment, knew about such Easter traditions as coloring eggs, baking kulich (a special Easter yeast cake) and making paskha (a cottage cheese cake shaped as a pyramid). All this is still part of how we celebrate Easter in Russia today.
Easter in Russia is also marked by a forty-day fast, otherwise known as Lent. On the night of Easter, Orthodox Christians attend the night service in churches and participate in the procession of the Cross. On Easter morning the breakfast consists of colored eggs, kulichi and paskha. Then, people head to church if they didn’t attend the night service.
Easter in Russia is called Paskha, which goes back to the Jewish holiday of Pesach. On Easter morning and throughout the day people congratulate each other by saying “Khristos Voskrese” - Christ is risen, and the reply is “Voistinu” or “Voistinu voskrese” - Indeed or Indeed He is risen. After saying that, don’t forget to kiss the other person on the cheek, three times—the Russian way!