The photo above was taken in my garden today. It is one of our apricot trees beginning to blossom forth on this precious Easter Sunday! We never have apricots due to our high altitude but we are blessed with amazingly fragrant blossoms beauty to smell and see, if we do not get a late freeze which can happen, just ask the various honey bees and bumble bees that visit here for tasty treats...they'll tell ya'.
The writing on this photo is church Slavonic, an ancient worship language which does not have any profane words nor can any be devised; a splendid language to praise our God, and means- Christ Is Risen!...Truly Christ Is Risen! We proclaim this saying to the entire world for the fifty days of Easter.
Easter for both the Julian calendar and Gregorian calendar is celebrated today, Sunday, the fourth of April, 2010. It is an early Easter for the Julian calendar. The Julian calendar is the old calendar and comes from the time of Julius Caesar. The Gregorian calendar is the newer calendar and comes from the time of Pope Gregory. We celebrate according to the Julian calendar, so our Easter is based on the calculations of the jewish passover and the phases of the moon. Therefore, we do not always celebrate Easter when those who follow the Gregorian calendar do and vice versa. In addition, our Easter, the Big Easter, lasts for fifty days and every Sunday of the year is a small Easter! How wonderful to remember the biggest gift, Jesus Christ's resurrection so His chosen can spend eternity in His heavenly mansions, all year for the small Easters and fifty days straight for the Big Easter.
Our traditions for Easter are many. We bake Pascha bread, which is a SERIOUS tradition, and every family has its secret recipe passed down through the generations. It takes hours to make this cylinder sweet bread but the aroma, flavor, and tradition far out way the time invested. Paschas vary and often the best cooks are quite sought after to make the Paschas for the clergy.
Fresh laid eggs boiled in onionskins and often touches of family secrets produce the tastiest boiled eggs with gorgeous hues of reds, oranges, browns, purples, and dark blues.
Staying up until midnight is a must on Saturday night so we can shout for joy at midnight- Christ Is Risen. Often times this happens at churches where parishioners take lovely baskets filled with Paschas, meat, cheeses, eggs and other delectables to be blessed for Easter feasts.