Although the Easter celebration for many of us has already come and gone, in countries like Ukraine and Greece they have only just begun.
The dates for Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Sunday really depend on where you are in the world, and face value Christianity (if any) you follow.
While most Christian countries celebrated Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022, many nations that primarily adhere to Orthodox Christianity celebrate at a slightly later date.
So when is it Orthodox Easter, and why is it on a different date?
Here’s everything you need to know.
When is Orthodox Easter 2022?
Orthodox Easter 2022 is today, April 24th.
The most important dates for Orthodox Easter in 2022 are:
- Good Friday – April 22nd
- Holy Saturday – April 23rd
- Easter Day or Easter Day – April 24th
- Easter Day – April 25.
Orthodox Easter can sometimes occur on the same day as Western Easter, as it did back in 2017. Last year, the Orthodox Church marked Easter in early May, instead of in March or April.
Eastern Orthodox Christianity also celebrates Christmas at a later date.
They first eat figgybudding on Saturday, January 7, 2023.
Why is Orthodox Easter on a different date?
Eastern Christianity recognizes a different date for Easter because it typically follows the Julian calendar.
This is instead the Gregorian calendar, which is widely used by most countries today – and which Britain, for example, changed to hundreds of years ago in 1752.
The Julian calendar was first proposed by Julius Caesar in 46 BC. The year in this calendar consisted of 365 days, with every fourth year having 366 days. Does that sound familiar?
This was later revised by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, and that edition eventually became the Gregorian calendar.
Many Balkan, Middle Eastern and former Soviet countries – including Serbia, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Northern Macedonia and Montenegro – also adhere to the Julian calendar and celebrate a later Easter.
How do people celebrate Orthodox Easter?
Fried lamb on skewers (or ‘souvla’) is often on the menu at Easter.
According to the Apostle John, Jesus is the Lamb of God, so eating lamb on this day honors his sacrificial death.
In addition, many people dye their eggs red to represent the blood of Christ’s tomb. Sometimes these are baked into a sweet bread known as ‘Tsoureki.’
The church is of course an important part of the festivities, with many worship services present, starting from Good Friday.
The services on Friday are more gloomy as the church bells ring and the flags wave at half mast to represent the passing of Christ.
Unlike Western Christianity, the worship service ‘Holy Saturday’ is undoubtedly the most important.
This takes place around midnight and is followed by happy church bells, fireworks and biscuits to mark the resurrection of Christ. Many people buy candles that they take home.
The festivities begin here, and many will break their 40-day fast with a traditional soup, Magiritsa, which is made from lamb, rice and dill, before the main party begins on Sunday.
MORE: The best Easter gifts to put a jump in your step this year
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