Armenian Feasts, Prelacy News

HOW ARMENIANS CELEBRATE EASTER

On Easter day, Christians rejoice over the resurrection of our Lord and the black altar curtains are now drawn. The forty-day period of fasting now comes to an end. Armenians celebrate the joyous occasion with eggs that are dyed red, with which children and adults alike play tapping contests. The Easter Bunny tradition that began in the 17th century among Protestants in Europe is now popular all over the world, according to which the bunny hatches colored eggs and brings them in baskets to children. The red egg symbolizes the suffering of Christ and His crucifixion as well as the blood spelled by him. The shell of the egg represents the rock-cut tomb of Jesus, and the cracking is the victory of Jesus over death and the resurrection from His grave.

On Resurrection Sunday, Armenian Christians around the world exchange the Easter greeting: Քրիստոս յարեաւ ի մեռելոց. օրհնեալ է յարութիւնն Քրիստոսի (Krisdos haryav ee merelotz! Orhnyal eh harootiunun Krisdosee!) Christ is risen from the dead! Blessed is the resurrection of Christ!

Easter Sunday is followed by a period of 40 days, during which time there are no saints’ days or fasting days. This period, dedicated to the glory of Christ’s Resurrection and to the 40 days He spent on earth after His Resurrection, leads up to Ascension Day, commemorating our Lord’s entry into heaven.