Having grown up in a Russian Orthodox home, Lent and Easter was a time filled with traditions (mostly involving food!) that we enjoyed year on year. I have warm memories of these and have continued many on with my own family as well as adding some more along the way.
Here are some of our Easter traditions:
Lenten Road Calendar: It’s up in the kitchen helping move us nearer to Easter. The children love putting this up year on year. A simple way to countdown to Easter and prepare, like an Advent calendar.
Easter Garden: We create one about two weeks beforehand, sowing some grass indoors for it to be ready in time for Easter Sunday. In the garden we place a terracotta plant pot on its side with a large stone for the tomb, and three wooden crosses that the children have made from twigs.
Lots of food is prepared, some of which I’ve jotted down, since feasting is a big deal at Easter in our house.
Resurrection Rolls: These are demolished for breakfast on Easter morning. We wrap a marshmallow in dough to make bread rolls and pop them in the oven. The marshmallow melts entirely in the oven and sweetens the bread. So on tearing open the roll, the marshmallow has gone. The tomb is empty. Our children adore this. This is something we prepare the night before, ready to go in the oven on Sunday morning.
Red Hard Boiled Eggs: During Holy Week we hard boil about 12-24 eggs, and then we dye them red – red to symbolise the blood of Christ. Once they are dry, we spend an afternoon decorating them with paints. Growing up we always used to write ‘XB’ on them, which are the Russian initials for Christ is Risen and this is something we still do. These eggs are a precious reminder to us of the new life Christ has brought through his death.
Kulich (Russian Easter Bread): This bread is similar to a panattone but taller and thiner. It takes a great deal of care and patience to bake, taking most of Easter Saturday. I love that we eat a tall risen bread when we are celebrating Christ’s rising from death.
Paskha (Russian Easter Cheesecake): Although I describe it as a cheesecake it looks nothing like one but is full of all the delicious foods that are traditionally not enjoyed during Lent.
For more ideas here are a couple of books to browse through:
I’d love to hear some of your Easter traditions.