Easter (Пасха) — страница 5

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which traditionally take the form of an Easter egg and hot cross buns. The Easter egg is by far the most popular emblem of Easter, but fluffy little chicks, baby rabbits and spring time flowers like daffodils, dangling catkins and the arum lily are also used to signify the Nature's awakening. Nowadays Easter eggs are usually made of chocolate or marzipan or sugar. True Easter eggs are hard-boiled, dyed in bright colours, and sometimes elaborately decorated. Colouring and decorating the festival eggs seems to have been customary since time immemorial They can be dipped into a prepared dye or, more usually, boiled in it, or they may be boiled inside a covering of onion peel Natural dyes are often used for coloring today. They are obtained from flowers, leaves, mosses, bark, and

wood-chips. Egg-rolling is a traditional Easter pastime which still flourishes in Britain. It takes place on Easter Sunday or Monday, and consists of rolling coloured, hard-boiled eggs down a slope until they are cracked and broken after which they are eaten by their owners. In some districts this is a competitive game. But originally egg-rolling provided an opportunity for divination. Each player marked his or her egg with an identifying sign and then watched to see how it sped down the slope. If it reached the bottom unscathed, the owner could expect good luck in the future, but if it was broken, unfortune would follow before the year was out, Eating hot cross buns at breakfast on Good Friday morning is a custom which is also flourishing in most English households. Formerly,

these round, cakes marked with a cross, eaten hot, were made by housewives who rose at dawn; for the purpose, or by local bakers who worked through the night to have them ready for delivery to their customers in time for breakfast. There is an old belief that the true Good Friday bun — that is, one made on the anniversary itself — never goes moldy, if kept in a dry place. It was once also supposed to have curative powers, especially for ailments like dysentery, diarrhea, whooping cough, and the complaint known as "summer sickness". Within living memory, it was still quite usual in country districts for a few buns to be hung from the kitchen ceiling until, they are needed. When illness came the bun was finely grated and mixed with milk or water, to make a medicine,

which the patient drank. VIII.           Easter in Ukraine and Russia. In Ukrainian, Easter is called Velikden (The Great Day). It has been celebrated over a long period of history and has many rich folk traditions that are no longer fully preserved. The last Sunday before Easter (Palm Sunday) is called Willow Sunday (Verbna nedilia). On this day pussy-willow branches are blessed in the church. The people tap one another with these branches, repeating the wish: ‘Be as tall as the willow, as healthy as the water, and as rich as the earth’. The week before Easter, the Great Week (Holy Week), is called the White or Pure Week. During this time an effort is made to finish all fieldwork before Thursday, since from Thursday on work

is forbidden. On the evening of ‘Pure’ (also called ‘Great’ or ‘Passion’ [Strasnyi]) Thursday, the passion (strasti) service is performed, after which the people return home with lighted candles. Maundy Thursday, called ‘the Eater of the dead’ in eastern Ukraine and Russia, is connected with the cult of the dead, who are believed to meet in the church on that night for the Divine Mass. On Passion (Strasna) Friday – Good Friday – no work is done. In some localities, the Holy Shroud (plashchanytsia) is carried solemnly three times around the church and, after appropriate services, laid out for public veneration. For three days the community celebrates to the sound of bells and to the singing of spring songs – vesnianky. Easter begins with the Easter matins and

high mass, during which the pasky (traditional Easter breads) and pysanky and krashanky (decorated or colored Easter eggs) are blessed in the church. Butter, lard, cheese, roast-suckling pigs, sausage, smoked meat, and little napkins containing poppy seeds, millet, salt, pepper, and horseradish are also blessed. After the matins all the people in the congregation exchange Easter greetings, give each other krashanky, and then hurry home with their baskets of blessed food. The pysanky and krashanky are an old pre-Christian element and have an important role in the Eater rites. They are given as gifts or exchanged as a sign of affection, and their shells are put in water for the rakhmany (peaceful souls); finally, they are placed on the graves of the dead or buried in graves and the