Until this year, I hadn't realized that the Eastern Orthodox Church's Easter falls on a different date than the Catholic tradition's celebration. This is because the Eastern Orthodox Church follows the Julian calendar, instead of the Gregorian. Both holidays fall on different dates every year. This year, the Orthodox Easter fell one week after the Easter we are familiar with.
Kyrgyz people (being Muslim for the most part) don't celebrate Easter; however, the Eastern Orthodox Easter is a significant holiday for Russian people. The traditional Russian Easter breads appeared on the streets in the days before the holiday. Called kulich, the breads are tall, narrow loaves with raisins inside, topped with white icing and sprinkles. As I walked Misha and Sebby home from school, we would buy some of these little loaves to munch on.
The Russians also attend a special church service on Easter night. We were invited and would have liked the chance to see it, but a few things deterred us. The main drawback was simply the fact that the service started at midnight and lasted until 3 a.m. Traditionally, everyone remains standing for the entire service. People dress in dark, drab colors and congregate in the church. The pastor then recreates the light of Jesus returning to the world in an involved ceremony, and everyone walks throughout the church lighting candles. The service culminates joyfully and everyone participates in a feast. Since we had school and work the next day, we decided that trying to make it to the service would be a stretch!
However, on our familiar Easter date, we did manage to dye some eggs:
Then the kids hid them for Daddy to find. Sebby was so excited he was screeching at the top of his lungs and pointing out the exact location of the eggs, as if he were shocked to find them where he himself had hid them!
Let the hunt begin.
We re-hid the eggs so many times that most of them had cracks in them by the time we were done (but we only hid the hard-boiled ones) and we were missing a few of the eggs. These turned up a few weeks later ... and I hope none are left rotting in the living room behind the couch!