Easter Day is a public holiday across Ukraine and celebrates Jesus’ resurrection from death, as told in the Christian bible. Ukraine’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?
Due to martial law in Ukraine, all national holidays have been suspended until further notice. While this holiday might be privately observed, government offices will remain open on this day.
What Do People Do?
Easter is known as Velykden (The Great Day) and is a day off work in Ukraine. Special Easter services are held in churches and many families celebrate the day with a special Easter meal. Easter meals often include the Paskha (a type of Easter bread) and an egg painted in red.
An Easter basket is filled with pysanky (decorated eggs) and blessed early on Easter Day in many homes. There are various Easter games, including one called “Knocking”. This game involves 2 players who have 1 egg each and try to knock each other’s eggs. The first one to have their egg broken loses the game.
Easter Day is a national public holiday in Ukraine so many shops, museums, and libraries, as well as government offices and educational institutions are closed. The Monday after Easter Sunday is a public holiday, so people can have a day off work and school. This rule applies to all public holidays that fall on a Sunday in Ukraine.
Ukraine’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.
The pysanky (decorated raw eggs) are part of the Easter Day celebrations in the Ukraine. The names and meanings of the pysanky designs vary across regions. According to one superstition, pysanky were meant to protect homes from evil spirits and misfortune.