The oldest Christian holiday, the bright day of the resurrection of the Lord, is not tied to a strict date, but is calculated annually according to certain rules. Catholic Easter in 2021 will be celebrated according to the Gregorian calendar on April 4. The most important date in the Church is associated with the day when Mary Magdalene did not find Jesus in the tomb after his death by crucifixion. Easter Sunday in memory of the great event gives the faithful a special state of prayer on Holy days. The feast of the Resurrection is the Central event of the entire biblical story.
The difference with Orthodox Easter
The Church holiday was celebrated for many years on the basis of calculations based on the paschalia created in Alexandria. By the decision of the Council, they chose the Sunday after the equinox and full moon, a week after the Jewish Passover. Until the 16th century, Catholics and Orthodox celebrated a bright holiday on the same day.
Changes occurred in 1582 due to the transition of Catholics to the Gregorian calendar. The Pope approved the transition, but the Eastern Church kept the old calculation based on the Julian calendar. The dates of the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ among Catholics and Orthodox Christians did not coincide.
The transition to a new chronology still took place in America after the revolution of 1918, but affected only the state sphere. In the Church world, the old traditions have been preserved. Thus, for the fifth century, the great celebration is celebrated at different times, coincidences are extremely rare (it was in 2017). The difference is sometimes a week, but it happens that the gap increases to one and a half months. As a rule, first comes the Catholic Easter, after which the Orthodox celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is expected. In 2021, the difference between the Catholic holiday (April 4) and the Orthodox holiday (may 2) will be 4 weeks.
On the eve of the celebration, a solemn service begins in the Catholic Church, during which Easter Is lit. The sacred fire is passed on to the candles of all those present. After Easter night, there are days of divine services according to a special Easter Charter. The gates of the altar remain open, as if inviting those who wish to join in the celebration. The decoration of the crucifixion is changed to festive white clothes.
In the early morning, the blessing of water and fire is held in the Church. A solemn hymn is played, followed by Bible readings. The Holy fire is carried to homes so that the Easter light reaches everyone. Wax candles in the Catholic Easter, I think of the miraculous healing. They keep it as a symbolic protection from evil spirits. The sacred fire, according to the faith of Catholics, protects against diseases, fears, and evil forces. Easter water is sprinkled on homes, washed, and used for cooking.
On Catholic Easter, it is customary to baptize adults. The traditional ones are the proclamations ” Christ is risen!” and the answers “truly he is risen!”.
Great lent is followed by an abundance of festive food. Instead of silence, you can hear the ringing of Church bells, which have been silent for 40 previous days. After the morning service and the hymn (May he rejoice), children go around the houses with congratulations and songs. Performances on religious themes are staged on the streets, houses are decorated with Easter compositions in the form of baskets made of willow twigs, in which there are colored eggs left by a hare (rabbit).
The sacred animal has long been a hero of Easter legends. In the middle ages, it was considered a lunar animal, and the Catholic celebration falls on the Sunday after the full moon. The children believed that the timid little animal was hiding its gifts. In 2021, the image of a hare and a basket, a wreath with nested eggs, is still most often preserved on holiday cards.
On Catholic Easter, they attend festive services, and in the family circle they unite at the festive table. The main entertainment throughout Easter week is to exchange Easter eggs. Children play with them, throw them at each other, break them, roll them down the slide. In England, an egg with a cracked shell is supposed to be eaten faster to protect yourself from witches.
Catholic Easter dishes
In the houses decorated for the festival, believers eat fast food for the first time after Lent. Rabbit meat, mutton-the basis of traditional dishes of the Catholic celebration. The festive table is decorated with an Easter lamb. Its symbolic image in the form of a baked Easter is allowed. The lamb, or lamb, became a symbol of Jesus Christ, who redeemed the sins of mankind by his death.
According to the traditions of Catholic Europe, baking is tied to local customs:
- in Italy, they bake muffins in the form of a dove;
- in England, they bake buns with cinnamon, raisins;
- in Poland, they make a pie with fruit filling;
- in Malta, they make curly cakes from almond dough.
Rabbit cakes are popular everywhere, as are traditional pies with different fillings. Whatever dishes adorn the festive table on Catholic Easter, the bright spirit of celebration that unites all believers is preserved.