Welcome to Ukrainian Easter Eggs by Olga Easter

Easter - a celebration of Resurrection of  our Savior Jesus Christ, and is the most important day in the Christian liturgical year, often called the Feast of Feasts. 

 Easter is celebrated on Sunday immediately following the first Spring full Moon that comes on or after the Vernal (Spring) Equinox (March 21), therefore Easter Sunday can fall in the period of 35 days  between March 22 and April 25. In Ukraine Easter falls on a Sunday between April 4 and May 8. 

The Eastern Church, which consists of the Orthodox churches, the Oriental churches and the Eastern-rite Catholic churches that are part of the Roman Catholic Church, such as the Ukrainian Catholic Church,  follow the Julian Calendar (dates of Easter) ,and occasionally have Easter on the same day as the Western Church, which includes Roman Catholics, Lutherans and Anglicans, who follow the Gregorian Calendar (dates of Easter).  However, because of the different methods of calculation Easter is usually celebrated anywhere from one to five weeks later in Ukraine. That is  because of a combination of factors: the Julian Calendar lags thirteen days behind the Gregorian Calendar and there is a practice that Easter may not be celebrated before or on the same day as Jewish Passover.

In Ukraine Easter celebration as a Christian Holiday started in 988 A.D. when Kiyivan Rus' was baptized. 

Easter celebration in Ukraine, as well as in other European cultures has a historical combination of Pagan and Christian traditions and rituals.

The  English word "Easter" , as well as Easter Bunny symbol have derived from pre-Christian times.  

In most Slavic languages, the name for Easter is either "Great Day" or "Great Night". In Ukraine the name for Easter is "The Great Day" (Velykden'), and there are several legends around the history of this name, including those which date back to Pre-Christian times.

Many of the seasonal traditions, rituals and symbols, such as: Easter Bread (Paska), painted eggs (pysanky) and color eggs (krashanky), pussy-willow, burning fires, games, group dances, songs, dousing with water were adopted from Pagan times and became a part of Christian Holidays. This explains the richness of Ukrainian culture today.

Lent - a forty day period preceding Easter Sunday is a major fast taken in preparation for Easter.  Great Lent or Great Fast (Velykyi Pist) in Ukrainian. 

Palm Sunday - a Sunday preceding Easter Sunday. In Ukraine is called Willow Sunday (Verbna Nedilya) or Flower(y) Sunday (Kvitna/Tsvitna Nedilya).

Holy Week - a week proceeding Easter Sunday and starts on Palm Sunday. In Ukraine is called Passion Week (Strastnyi Tyzhden').

During the  Holy Week Easter Triduum  starts on Thursday and ends on Saturday. The Easter Triduum consists of:

Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday   The Lord's Supper.  This day the Passion of Christ is commemorated. In Ukraine is also called Passion Thursday (Strastnyi Chetver), Great Thursday (Velykyi Chetver),  Bright Thursday (Svitlyi Chetver) or Pure Thursday (Chystyi Chetver)

Good Friday  The Crucifixion of Christ. The celebration of Christ's passion. In Ukraine is called Passion Friday (Strastna Pyatnusya), or Great Friday (Veluka Pyatnutsya).

Holy Saturday
Commemoration of the day Christ lay in the Tomb.  Easter Vigil is held after sunset on Holy Saturday. In Ukrainian is called Passion Saturday (Strastna Subota)

Easter Sunday The Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The Easter celebration begins at midnight. In Ukraine the name for Easter is "The Great Day" (Velykden').  

Eastertide, or the Easter Season lasts fifty days from Easter Sunday until Pentecost Sunday.  

Bright Week   Renewal Week, Easter Week in Ukrainian (Velukodniy Tyzhden') starts on Easter Sunday.

Easter Monday   The Monday after Easter Sunday. In Ukraine is called Wet, Dousing/Watering Monday (Oblyvanyi Ponedilok)

St. Thomas Sunday  The First Sunday after Easter. In Ukraine is called Seeing-off Sunday (Providna Nedilya),  reflects the cult of the dead and was the most important feast in their honor. 

Pentecost   In Ukraine this Sunday is called  Green Holidays (Zeleni Svyata) and The Holy Trinity Sunday (Nedilya Svyatoyi Triytsi).  In Roman Church the Holy Trinity is celebrated on the first Sunday following Pentecost.

Back to top