Easter. Even those who are far from being religious and spiritual rejoice and congratulate each other on this day with the greeting “Christ is Risen!”, to which one should answer “Truly He is Risen!”. Orthodox Christians do not have the tradition of hiding and hunting for Easter eggs in Russia, instead, people paint them, each in their own fashion. Sometimes children are involved in this exciting process. After that, eggs along with traditional Easter cakes are taken to church to be blessed. Eggs and cakes are blessed on the holiday’s eve, before the festive night service. The holiday service begins at 11 pm. At midnight, the congregation goes out to participate in the cross procession around the temple. Holy banners and ripidias, sparkling in the lamp light, hundreds of people with candles, flickering in the wind…it is an unforgettable sight. Holiday services are beautiful too: change of vestments from white to scarlet and singing choirs are a real feast for your eyes and ears. But most of the celebrants (those who are not parishioners) come only to join the procession. Public transportation systems are available until late on this day.
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