Easter is one of the biggest holidays for Christians. Knowing that there are two religious courses Catholic and Orthodox, there are two Easters – Catholic and Orthodox.
Easter is as we said one of the biggest and happiest Christian holidays. On this day people celebrate resurrection of Christ, His comeback to life.
It is believed that this happened on the third day after his death, including the day of the death. This is a movable holiday, celebrated on Sunday after Good Friday.
The datum is changeable and it goes between April 4th and May 8th with Eastern Christians, and between March 22nd and April 25th with Western Christians. Julian and Gregorian calendars are used and they follow the cycle of the sun.
This feast is a family holidays celebrated in Christian countries all over the world.
Easter on Balkan
Balkan region is one very special place when it comes to celebrating Easter. There are many states in this part of the world different in many ways but again with many common traditional customs.
This Christian holiday includes 40-day fast that ends on the first day of Easter.
In Croatia, Catholic religion is predominant so this country celebrates Easter following the Gregorian calendar. People here traditionally eat meat-free food and none of the animal products (milk, eggs…) on Good Friday. They mostly eat fish and vegetables never prepared on fat, but boiled, grilled, fresh or fried in oil. On Sunday, the first day of Easter they start eating meat and other food as well as smashing eggs.
Like Bulgarians, Romanians and Macedonians, people in Serbia boil eggs and color and decorate them. Similar to Croatia there is a strict fast when people on the first and the last week eat only bread and water, or food prepared without oil, fish, etc.
In Bosnia there are two streams – Orthodox and Catholic. Their traditional customs are similar to those in Serbia and Croatia.
Romanian custom is painting eggs. Boiling eggs in onion leaves is an old but preserved custom.
Macedonians are mostly Orthodox and their customs sometimes seem strange to strangers. The housewives here wake up very early in the morning, before sunrise and dye three eggs red. The first and most important is devoted to Jesus. It is always place near the window so the Sun can shine it.
Bulgaria is also with its bigger part an Orthodox country. They mostly share neighbors’ countries customs (Greece, Macedonia, and Serbia).
Celebration of Easter
As we said, Easter is a family holiday and it’s mostly celebrated among family members, at home.
The week before Easter is called Holly week. One of the most important days in this week is a Good Friday. Good Friday commemorates crucifixion of Jesus Christ and His death while Easter glorifies His resurrection.
The importance of Easter and Good Friday is enormous among all Christians. This holiday celebrates life after death.
Different people follow different mores. Catholics celebrate not only the resurrection but also pay a lot of attention to the new season – a time of hope, awaking and new chances, while with Orthodox Christians this holiday is mostly devoted to the Christ and his resurrection.
One of the best parts of this holiday is staining eggs.
Egg represents a symbol of hope and new life. This is why staining eggs is very important. Easter eggs are inevitable part of every Easter.
This custom originates from Mesopotamia. People in this ancient country stained eggs red. Red color represents the blood of the Christ. This tradition remained deeply engrained among Christians.
On Good Friday, people stain eggs. The first egg has to be red and it is called The Keeper of the House. It is stained and left unbroken until the next Christmas.
It is custom to give and receive eggs on Easter. One of the most interesting parts is cracking eggs.
In Balkan, Easter is among most popular holidays, mostly celebrated on the entire state level, as a national holiday.
It is a family time, when people are free of work so they get to enjoy the feast completely.
It is also a time when people visit their family and friends. It is celebrated for three days – Easter Sunday, Easter Monday and Easter Tuesday.
Traditional Easter recipes
Stained eggs are the first and most important part of traditional Easter table. There’s no home without perfectly stained and decorated Easter eggs.
The custom is to color chicken eggs although chocolate eggs become more and more popular especially in Western culture.
After eggs there is also Easter bread. This bread is very taste so we prepared a recipe for you.
Besides eggs and Easter bread every table is full of food. On Eater table you’ll find meat, different soups, and variety of rolls, pancakes, different types of bread and lots, lots of candies.
Recipe for Easter Eggs
- Artificial color
First, boil eggs in water with a little salt just as you prepare them for eating. After they are cold, put them into hot, boiled water in which you previously added vinegar and color and boil for couple more minutes.
This process is very fast. Only remember to pour the colored water over the eggs to get equal color. The more you boil them in colored water, the darker the color will be.
You can put stickers on stained eggs, draw over them, or use all sort of different decorations.
Greek Easter soup
Boil chicken in the 3 cups water for 50 minutes. Remove from heat; strain broth and set aside. Chop chicken into pieces. Cook onion, dill and parsley in butter with 1 teaspoon salt and a dash of pepper until soft and transparent, being careful not to brown.
Read the rest Greek Easter soup.
Bulgarian sweet bread
For Bulgarian sweet bread first crumble the yeast, pour some warm milk, stir in a teaspoon of sugar and a little flour and leave in a warm place to rise for 20 minutes.
Egg and sugar mix well and add the warm milk and vanilla sugar.
In a bowl put the flour and salt, make a hole and add the egg mixture and risen yeast. Knead the dough and you gradually add the melted butter. Smooth dough sprinkle with flour, cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place to rise (30 minutes and then punch down and let rise for 45 minutes). When his volume doubles add lemon zest and raisins.
Read the rest Bulgarian sweet bread.
There isn’t a holiday or a feast, especially in Balkan without candies.
Honey cakes recipe
- 250g of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- A bag of cinnamon
- 1 whole egg
- 2 yolks
- 250g of flour
- a teaspoon of soda
Mix sugar, honey, yolks and one whole egg. Mix until you get the same mixture. After that, add flour, cinnamon, and soda. Knead well and form dough approximately 2cm high. Shape cakes the way you want (You can use traditional Easter shapes such as eggs or bunnies, or some else, it’s up to you.) Put in the oiled dish and bake (medium temperature until they get blush).
As decoration you can use powdered sugar and water (make it thick), add artificial cake color. Or, if you are a chocolate fan, melt chocolate on top of cookies. If you like tradition, use only powdered sugar as a decoration. It’s totally up to you.
Dalmatian old-time cookie
Dalmatian old-time cookie is not hard to make, but may take a little bit more time. Puff pastry should be baked two times, light chocolate biscuit, cook the cream – don’t be afraid, there really isn’t anything you should be scared off, it is not hard.
Both puff pastries bake on the reverse sides of the casserole.
Mix yolk with sugar, add grated chocolate, milled nuts and on the end add snow made of egg whites. Pour that in the casserole that you covered with a baking paper (must do!). bake it at 18oC for about 30 minutes. Take out the baked biscuit and cool down.
Read the rest Dalmatian old-time cookie.
Easter represents a holiday of happiness and joy. It is a symbol of awakening, new life and everything that’s special and important.