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Orthodox Easter in Australia

Many Orthodox Christians in Australia celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday. The Orthodox date for Easter Sunday is later than the Easter date observed by non-orthodox Christians.

Is Orthodox Easter a Public Holiday?

Orthodox Easter is not a public holiday. It falls on Sunday, April 28, 2019 and most businesses follow regular Sunday opening hours in Australia.

Lamb is a popular Easter dish served among many Orthodox Christians in Australia.

©bigsockphoto.com/ Jag_cz

What Do People Do?

Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter Day, also called Pascha, as well as the Sunday of the Resurrection, according to the Easter date in the old Julian calendar, which is differnet from the Easter dates in the Gregorian calendar.

Easter is the most important event in the church calendar. The Easter Sunday church liturgies are joyous as they celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection, according to Christian belief, as well as spiritual victory.

End of Lent

Many Orthodox Christians in Australia fast during Lent prior to Easter. Easter Sunday is a time for families and friends to get together for a festive meal, where meat and dairy products can be eaten again. Lamb and tsourekia (or tsoureki), which is a type of Easter bread, are popular Easter dishes in many Orthodox communities in Australia.

Traditional Easter egg games are also popular. Each person takes a dyed red egg and tries to crack other challengers’ eggs. This game symbolizes Jesus Christ breaking from his tomb. The person whose egg lasts the longest is assured good luck for the rest of the year. Some people bring dyed Easter eggs to church to be blessed at the Easter liturgy.

In some cities, you will find egg painting workshops for pysanky a special decorated Easter egg customary in some eastern European countries, such as Ukraine.

Public Life

The Orthodox Christian date for Easter Sunday is not a federal public holiday in Australia. However, it is held on a Sunday, which is a non-school day and non-working day for most Australians. Sunday trading hours still apply in areas where there is Sunday trading, particularly in major cities.

Symbols

The Easter egg is hard-boiled and dyed red to symbolize the blood of Christ. It was an important symbol connected with spring fertility rituals in many early civilizations. Many Orthodox Christians rap their eggs against their friends' eggs and the owner of the last uncracked egg is considered lucky.

The Orthodox custom of decorating the round Easter bread with red eggs at the four edges of the cross on the bread dates back to around the 12th century. Another important symbol associated with Easter is the lamb. It is often depicted with a banner that bears a cross, and it is known as the Agnus Dei, meaning "Lamb of God" in Latin.

About Orthodox Easter in other countries

Read more about Orthodox Easter.

Orthodox Easter Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015SunApr 12Orthodox EasterOrthodox
2016SunMay 1Orthodox EasterOrthodox
2017SunApr 16Orthodox EasterOrthodox
2018SunApr 8Orthodox EasterOrthodox
2019SunApr 28Orthodox EasterOrthodox
2020SunApr 19Orthodox EasterOrthodox
2021SunMay 2Orthodox EasterOrthodox
2022SunApr 24Orthodox EasterOrthodox
2023SunApr 16Orthodox EasterOrthodox
2024SunMay 5Orthodox EasterOrthodox
2025SunApr 20Orthodox EasterOrthodox

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