Orthodox Easter Traditions

Orthodox Christians in Greece, Russia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and other countries around the world celebrate Pascha (Easter) with church services, decorating eggs, playing games and eating traditional foods are typical parts of the celebration.

Orthodox Easter

The Eggs

Decorated eggs are an important part of the Orthodox Easter tradition. In Greece, the hard-boiled eggs are dyed a bright red. Romanians paint hollowed-out eggs in traditional colors of yellow, red, and black – as well as a variety of other color combinations and patterns. Ukrainian Easter eggs, pysanky, are beautifully decorated using a wax resist method. Russian Easter eggs made of wood are painted with traditional designs, churches, and other images on them.

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The Vegreville egg is a giant sculpture of a pysanka in Alberta, Canada.

People of all ages enjoy playing Easter egg games.

Eierpecken

  • Egg Cracking Competition – players take turns tapping the ends of their eggs.  The person with the last uncracked egg will have luck for the year.
  • Easter Egg Roll – players roll their eggs down a hill and try to crack another player’s egg while keeping theirs intact.

The Feast

Family and friends gather to feast on traditional foods. Roasted lamb is one of the most popular meats served on Easter.  My husband (in red in the picture below) grew up in Greece, where roasting lamb on a spit was a central part of the celebration.Untitled design

Easter breads featuring eggs are common across many cultures. Easter Bread Recipes Around the World

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Tsoureki


To learn more about Pascha, I highly recommend Catherine’s Pascha by Charlotte Riggle. It is a wonderful picture book that shares the special traditions of an Orthodox Easter celebration through the eyes of a young girl.

Read my review here.  Visit Catherine’s Pascha website to order the book and to find lots of great Pascha resources, including paschal greetings, recipes, activities and more.

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