Easter, or Easter Sunday, one of the most important holidays in the Orthodox calendar. For the believer, this day symbolizes the victory of eternal life over death.
To celebrate the holiday starts with a solemn service in the temples. It is believed that the believers, who defended the whole service from start to finish, receive a special grace of the Almighty. In the morning people return home to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ in the circle of family. Go to the meal only after partaking of painted eggs, the symbol of eternal life promised to every Christian. On the table also needs to present the cakes and curd Easter.
Believers have another tradition. On the day of Resurrection of Christ Orthodox graveyard. A tradition has arisen among the people and has nothing to do with Orthodoxy. Many Christians believe that at Easter it is necessary to visit the graves of deceased relatives. The Church opposes this practice and prohibit the Orthodox cemetery visit on Easter Sunday. For a ban is quite a good reason.
Care for the burial place of relatives is one of the duties of the Christian believer. However, the Resurrection of Christ is not considered the time suitable for visiting cemeteries. Easter is the day when the Savior Jesus Christ was restored to life. By his resurrection he proved that death has no power over a believer. In this lies the meaning of the Holy feast. In Easter, the Christian should rejoice in the forthcoming eternal life, and not to visit places associated with death.
To visit the cemetery with the purpose of cleaning, decorating of graves, and prayers are allowed by the Church only on Tuesday of the second week after Easter. This day is called Radonitsa. The holiday is celebrated in the Eastern Slavs: Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians. Tradition could appear long before the arrival of Christianity. Our ancestors, being pagans always celebrated the feast on the graves of deceased relatives. Despite the fact that the tradition came from paganism, the ancient custom was approved and adopted by the Russian Orthodox Church.
Radonitsa – the word "joy"
Reliable etymology of the name of the holiday is still unknown. The most common version: Radonitsa – the word "joy." The relatives of the deceased must rejoice in the fact that at some day their relatives will be resurrected. According to another version, the name is of Lithuanian origin and comes from the word for prayer for the deceased, when reading where you want to cry and lament.
On The day of rejoicing cemeteries become crowded and noisy places. After relatives put in order the grave of a loved one, the deceased need to remember. To do this, to the burial site bring treats, some of which leave on the grave. The painted egg sometimes buried in the ground. Through this ritual with the dead christocrats, as a living person. On the grave is not forbidden even to smoke, if the deceased during his lifetime was the Smoking. After visiting the cemetery the day of remembrance of the dead were held noisy celebrations with songs, dances and roundelays. In many Russian provinces had their own customs of celebrating Radonitsa.
Folk tradition to visit the cemetery on Easter appeared in the Soviet years. It is connected with the closure of churches and prohibition of worship. Not being able to gather and pray in the Holy feast, the believers were forced to go to the graves of their loved ones. Currently, there are no restrictions on attending Church does not exist. The tradition of spending Easter at the cemetery long lost its relevance.
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