Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Holy Light - Jerusalem

   Millions of people go to Jerusalem in the Easter night to take the Holy Light.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Easter around the world

         About 2,015 million Christians all over the world, belonging to all denominations, celebrate Easter which marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his death by crucifixion and burial in Jerusalem about 2,000 years ago. Easter is the victory over death, a celebration of  the new life. The Easter holiday is one of the high points of the Christian religious calendar. Easter ceremonies correspond to the Passover, the Jewish festival. It symbolizes the ultimate victory of good over evil.

        Easter is the time of springtime festivals, a time to welcome back the lilies, the tulips and the daffodils. It’s a time of new suits, new dresses and new footwear. It is a day for great rejoicing and merry-making. Feasts are given, sweets exchanged and processions taken out on this occasion. It is a time of chocolate bunnies, marshmallow chicks, and coloured eggs.

Easter in the USA
Easter in the USA is celebrated in many differeny ways by many different religions. Mostly it is celebrated with traditional church services and family festive celebrations. On Easter Sunday in New York and other cities, large street parades are held and people show off their new clothes and Easter bonnets. The parade is often led by someone carrying a candle or a cross.There is also a tradition in organising Easter Egg Rolls every year at The White House.
         The Duggar family (the largest american family) develop the Easter customs with songs, paintings, cookies, the resurrection's story and new memories. They are an example for other families!
          But there are also other ways of celebrating Easter around the world:

        Easter egg hunts take place in Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, Malaysia, Australia, Brazil, India, and the Philippines, where parents hide eggs and sweets – usually outdoors – for their children to find.
        The Easter bonnet parade is a tradition shared by Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Australian kids go around school and up and down the streets wearing hats decorated with bunny ears, chicken designs and Easter eggs. British children often make wide-brimmed hats decorated with spring flowers, while "the bigger, the better" describes bonnets worn by American kids.
A little girl at an egg hunt

        The Easter bunny (actually a hare in Sweden, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland as opposed to a rabbit in the United States, Canada, and Australia) is known for delivering sweet treats to young children, so it's no surprise that Easter baskets often feature a chocolate bunny. In France, however, it's not the Easter bunny that children have to thank.It's the Easter bells, back from Rome, that are responsible for sending the chocolates everywhere.

Religious Easter traditions
The 3 prudes at the Jesus' tomb
        For Christians, Easter is the holiest and oldest of all traditions, and it's related to the even more ancient Jewish festival of Passover, which is described in the New Testament. Both holidays are celebrated at the same time of year, often (but not always) in the same week. Passover takes place over one week in remembrance of the exodus of the Jews. For Christians, Easter commemorates the resurrection of Christ after his crucifixion.
        Christians throughout the world  celebrate Easter with special church services and prayers, Most homes will have a special get-together with family and close friends. Families in India may keep a small box or earthen pot as a place to put money aside regularly as an offering. On Easter Day, some families donate this sum to the local church, an orphanage, or people in need.

Easter foods
        Wherever Easter is observed,  the favourite celebratory food is chocolate. In Spain, people celebrating Easter enjoy beautiful chocolate sculptures that can come in the form of a princess castle or pirate boat.
        Spain  is  steeped in many Easter food traditions – including one that could really hurt! In the northeast, people bake a special pastry with a whole egg inside (shell and all), then break it on top of people's heads.
        Baked Easter goods are popular all over the globe. In the United Kingdom and Australia, hot cross buns filled with dried fruits and spices with a cross on top, symbolizing the crucifixion, are eaten on Good Friday. In Ireland and the United Kingdom, the Simnel cake is the traditional Easter pastry; it's been around since the Middle Ages. It is a rich fruit cake with 11 marzipan balls on the top. These balls represent the 12 apostles minus Judas.
        Many Easter traditions around the world are related to the idea of new life and springtime. Of all the symbols, one of the most recognizable is the egg, symbol of new life and fertility.
Simnel cake

Easter in Romania

        In our country, the eggs are painted starting with Thursday. Initially the only accepted color was red, but in time other colors were also applied – yellow, green, blue and even black.In the villages the paint is still obtained from plants. ”Pasca”, a special Easter cake, is baked on Great Thursday, but especially on Saturday, so it wouldn’t alter until Easter. It has a round shape (reminding little Jesus’ diapers) or a rectangular one (the shape of His grave). The traditional Easter lamb also symbolizes Jesus. In Banat region, the remains of the sacrificed lamb are buried under an apple or a pear tree, in order that the family should be healthy. Saturday night, when all the cleaning and preparations in the house are done, the steak, the pies and the cakes are put on the table, people take a bowl with “pasca”, eggs and steak and go to the church, where the aliments will be sanctified. Only the  old men and little children remain at home, as it is said that who can go to the church on Easter night, but he doesn’t do it, will get ill. A fire is lighted near the church and it will be kept for all the three Easter days. People hold lighted candles during the religious mass and only put them out when they return home, after they enter the house and make crosses.
Egg contest
         At home, people first taste the anaphora and then sit at the table. They first eat some of the sanctified aliments and only then the rest. There’s the custom of knocking the eggs. It is believed that those who knock their eggs will see each other on the other world, after death. The Holly Light of Jerusalem is very popular, too. Millions of people go to church in the Easter Night to take the Light.
         While for some ,Easter is a festive celebration of spring and new life, for many it is an important religious and spiritual celebration of Christ’s victory over death. The power of Jesus’ resurrection makes man incorruptible and new. It makes him strong and transforms him into a spiritual being. With the spiritual power one is able to recognize His footsteps as, “He comes, comes, ever comes,” (Tagore).