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Orthodox Easter Monday in Canada

Easter Monday is the day after Easter Sunday, which celebrates Jesus’ resurrection, according to Christian belief. Many Orthodox Christian churches in Canada often observe Easter Monday at a later date than the Easter Monday date observed by many western churches. The day is also known as Bright Monday.

Is Orthodox Easter Monday a Public Holiday?

Orthodox Easter Monday is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

Easter composition

Beautifully decorated eggs, including those that are dyed red to symbolize Jesus Christ's blood, are seen during the Orthodox Easter period.

©iStockphoto.com/ vaskoni

What Do People Do?

Bright Monday is a day of reflection for many Orthodox Christians in Canada. Many people reflect on the events that occurred during Holy Week and on Easter Sunday. Easter Monday is a day to finish leftover Easter meals that were not eaten the day before. Some Orthodox Christian churches have special Bright Monday liturgies in Canada.

Some public service offices in Canada may allow for their employees to have up to two days of paid leave to observe holy days such as the Orthodox Easter Monday. This policy may apply to people who are members of selected Orthodox Christian churches, including the Greek Orthodox Church, the Macedonian Orthodox Church, the Romanian St George Orthodox Church, and the Russian Orthodox Church.

Public Life

Orthodox Easter Monday is not a federal public holiday in Canada.

Background

Many Orthodox churches base their Easter date on the Julian calendar, which differs from the Gregorian calendar that is used by many western countries. Therefore the Orthodox Easter period often (but not always) occurs at a different date compared with the Easter date observed by many western churches, which falls after the time of the March equinox.

The term orthodox, derived from Greek, means “right teaching” or “right worship”, according to the National Defence and the Canadian Forces. The eastern Christian churches’ gradual adoption of the term reflects their view of the correctness of their position in doctrinal differences with the Roman Catholic Church.

There are different types of Orthodox churches across Canada. Greek Orthodox, Romanian Orthodox, and Russian Orthodox churches spread in Canada as a result of immigration over the years.  Other Eastern Orthodox churches include the Armenian Orthodox Church, the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Symbols

Easter eggs are often dyed red to symbolize the Jesus Christ’s blood. It was an important symbol connected with spring fertility rituals in many early civilizations. 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 Monday in other countries

Read more about Orthodox Easter Monday.

Orthodox Easter Monday Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2015MonApr 13Orthodox Easter MondayOrthodox 
2016MonMay 2Orthodox Easter MondayOrthodox 
2017MonApr 17Orthodox Easter MondayOrthodox 
2018MonApr 9Orthodox Easter MondayOrthodox 
2019MonApr 29Orthodox Easter MondayOrthodox 
2020MonApr 20Orthodox Easter MondayOrthodox 
2021MonMay 3Orthodox Easter MondayOrthodox 
2022MonApr 25Orthodox Easter MondayOrthodox 
2023MonApr 17Orthodox Easter MondayOrthodox 
2024MonMay 6Orthodox Easter MondayOrthodox 
2025MonApr 21Orthodox Easter MondayOrthodox 

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