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Orthodox Easter Day in Romania

Easter Day (Paștele) is a public holiday across Romania and celebrates Jesus’ resurrection from death, as told in the Christian bible. Romania’s Easter holiday follows the Orthodox Easter date, which is often different from the Easter date determined by other Christian churches.

Is Orthodox Easter Day a Public Holiday?

Orthodox Easter Day is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

In 2019 it falls on a Sunday. Due to this, some businesses may choose to follow Sunday opening hours.

An Easter egg being delicately handpainted in Romania.

©iStockphoto.com/Andrei_Badau

What Do People Do?

Easter is one of the most important religious celebrations in Romania. Many churches across Romania hold special Easter services. Families and friends gather for an Easter lunch or dinner, where meals include:

  • Lamb meat, including drob (lamb organs’ haggis with vegetables).
  • Pască, a special type of Cozonac (walnut pound cake).
  • Painted eggs. The colors that are used are red, yellow, blue, green and black.

Romanians call the painted and decorated eggs “oua incondeiate”, “oua impiestrite”, or “oua inchiestrite”. It is customary to knock each other’s eggs during Easter, and it is believed that people who knock each other’s eggs will see each other again after death.

Public Life

Easter Sunday and Easter Monday are public holidays in Romania so banks, public offices, and many private businesses are closed. People intending to travel via public transport during public holidays must check with the public transit authorities on any changes to time schedules.

Background

Romania’s Easter holiday follows the Easter dates set by the Orthodox Christian Church. 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 occurs later than the Easter period that falls after the time of the March equinox.

Symbols

One of the most important colors used to paint Easter eggs is red, which symbolizes, Jesus’ blood when he was crucified. These eggs are often called “rosele”, “rusele” or “rosetele”, as “rosu” means “red” in Romanian. The most used decorative motifs for decorating Easter eggs include:

  • The lost path, where souls walk toward the judgment.
  • The cross.
  • The fir or oak leaf.
  • Various plants and animals.

The Easter candles that are used at a church mass/service are kept afterwards because they symbolize protection.

About Orthodox Easter Day in other countries

Read more about Orthodox Easter Day.

Orthodox Easter Day Observances

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

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