Monday, April 5, 2010

Night before Easter in Skopje, Macedonia

The night before Easter, Macedonians gathered together in the local churches to attend the Easter liturgy. The central feast was in the Apostolic Church St. Clement Ohridski (македонски: Св. Климент Охридски) where people massively gathered.

Easter is the central religious feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to Christian scripture, Jesus was resurrected from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. 

Some Christians celebrate this resurrection on Easter Day or Easter Sunday (also Resurrection Day or Resurrection Sunday), two days after Good Friday and three days after Maundy Thursday. 

Traditionally the Easter Season lasted for the forty days from Easter Day until Ascension Day but now officially lasts for the fifty days until Pentecost. The first week of the Easter Season is known as Easter Week or the Octave of Easter. Easter also marks the end of Lent, a season of fasting, prayer, and penance.

Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the vernal equinox.

 Macedonian Orthodox Church bases its calculations on the Julian Calendar whose March 21 corresponds, during the twenty-first century, to April 3 in the Gregorian Calendar, in which calendar their celebration of Easter therefore varies between April 4 and May 8.

Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar.

Easter egg "battles" are tradition among Macedonians. After midnight ans Christ uprising, the believers are "fighting" trying to discover who has the strongest Easter egg.

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