Of course, Christians all over the globe join together on Easter Sunday to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, and one could probably go to an Easter service anywhere and recognize (to some degree) what was taking place. But there are also many differences in the way Easter is celebrated in different parts of the world. In particular, there are differences in the way Western Christians (Protestants and Roman Catholics) celebrate Easter and the way Eastern Orthodox Christians (members of the churches which descended from the Greek-speaking wing of the early Church) celebrate it. Perhaps it will be interesting to us in the West to learn about some of the customs related to the celebration of Easter in the East (and especially in Russia).
The most obvious difference is that Easter is normally celebrated on a different Sunday in the East and the West. Ever since the Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325), Christians have celebrated the resurrection of Christ on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox (March 21). For most of Christian history, the church used the old Julian calendar (invented in the time of Julius Caesar in the first century B.C.) to determine when the vernal equinox would be. But in the sixteenth century it became clear that the Julian calendar was lagging behind astronomical time, and a new calendar (the Gregorian) was proposed. The Western Church accepted this new calendar, but the Eastern Church rejected it. At present, the Julian calendar is 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar, and is gradually losing more and more time. That means that whereas we calculate the date of Easter from March 21 by our Gregorian calendar, the Eastern Church calculates it from March 21 by their older calendar, which equals April 3 by our calendar.
The Eastern Church also insists that Easter must follow the Jewish celebration of Passover in any given year, and that celebration is based on yet a third calendar. Depending on when... [continues]
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(2006, 12). Easter in Russia. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 12, 2006, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Easter-Russia-101888.html
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