In Macedonia Orthodox Christians with immense joy are awaiting the great Christian holiday Easter. On this important day all Christians recall Christ’s sacrifice for the salvation of mankind. Easter is the oldest holiday celebrated since the second century.
There is no greater joy and admiration than when we celebrate life. On this day the great news about the resurrection of Christ is spread and therefore it suggests that our believe was created and based on the joy of Christ’s resurrection. Christ’s resurrection is the light of the world and a road map for life over the centuries of human history. Resurrection is a joy for the afflicted, comfort for the sick, teaching the despondent, strength and solid foundation for the believers.Resurrection is a victory against the enemies, defeat and destruction of demons, forgiving sins and dismissal safe harbor from the storm of temptations.
Christ conquered the death and therefore he opened the gates of Eden and the gates of light for all his sons and daughters. Although in the world there are wars, riots and other accidents, it should not be afraid and worried. Justice and truth are still being crucified on the cross, but through the cross comes joy for the whole world. This holiday is the essence of Christianity, the confirmation of faith in God. Easter celebrates the victory of life over death. St. Paul apostle said: ‘If Christ be not raised, empty would our faith’. Easter in Macedonia year 2013 is on the May 5.
Easter Legends and traditions in Macedonia
For Easter there are a number of customs that will always take a central place in Easter celebration. According to the legend the Easter red eggs and the Easter greeting “Christ is risen”, first was coined by Mary Magdalena. She was always attending sermons of Jesus and first came to his grave on Sunday morning after he has been crucified on the Good Friday . She was the first one to see his tomb empty and saw Jesus resurrected. After that she started traveling the world to preach the teachings of Christ.
Legends of the red Easter Egg believes that when Jesus was crucified, the blood dripping from his hands and feet painted the stones red. As the memory of that event, people today are painting red eggs for Easter. The red color symbolizes the blood of Christ.
There are a variety of beliefs and practices related to the Easter egg dying in Macedonia , but broadly accepted and practiced the following rituals:
- The first eggs (three or more) are painted on Maundy Thursday before sunrise. The housewife that will paint the Easter eggs shouldn’t be hungry and be with positive thoughts, because it is believed that hunger and negativity reflect on the eggs. The first eggs have to be painted in red, and left on the first sun rays after painting . It is believed that eggs prepared this way will stay fresh until next Easter. Immediately after sun rise the mother should roll the eggs over her children cheeks saying: “Red, White, fat” or “Red, white, healthy and alive” and symbolism is as follows – thick as an egg, and red cheeks as sign of good health. On Maundy Thursday the girls wash their hair in water with red egg and geranium plant.
- Good Friday (the Friday before Easter) is considered to be the hardest day, because on that day Jesus Christ was crucified. That is why this day is not, nor cook, but go to church, where he brings flowers. Anyone who leaves flowers, takes different health and brings home.
- On Saturday before Easter, young children bath with geranium white bryony and red egg. Geranium to be healthy, white bryony to be overweight, and the first red egg to be white and red.
- On the very day of Easter the 46 days fast finishes . Those who fasted go to church to communion. Believers congratulating the holiday to each other with the words: “Christ is Risen – Indeed He is Risen”. As usual, another early morning walk in older children to greet the holiday, and in return receive Easter eggs. Enjoy breaking eggs, where the one who wins gets the egg and the one that lost.
We recommend you to try and experience something different and unforgettable for your Easter holidays and visit Macedonia during this Easter.