How Eastern Europeans Celebrate Easter

Easter is the first major holiday of spring and, for many Christians, is considered the holiest day of the year. Everything centers around new birth. Eggs, green vegetables, and spring lamb figure prominently in the Eastern European cuisine. Here is how Eastern Europeans celebrate Easter by country.

  • 01 of 09
    Easter Bread
    Easter Bread. Kemi H Photography / Getty Images

    Bulgaria is a largely Orthodox Christian country along with the rest of the Balkans (except for Croatia) and, as such, religious devotions figure prominently in the Easter holiday. During Holy Week, some very devout Bulgarians attend church every day.

  • 02 of 09
    Giant Croatian Easter Egg Outside Zagreb Cathedral
    Giant Croatian Easter Egtg Outside Zagreb Cathedral. Anna Gorin / Getty Images

    Easter observances begin on Palm Sunday and continue throughout Holy Week. In many towns, there are ceremonies and processions every night. In the coastal towns of Dalmatia, neighborhood associations put on traditional costumes and sing ancient hymns. There are reenactments from the Bible and a blessing of the city gates.

  • 03 of 09

    Czech Easter Traditions

    Czech Ham Being Grilled in Prague
    Czech Ham Being Grilled in Prague. Wolfgang Kaehler / Getty Images

    Kerry Kubilius says, "Easter in the Czech Republic is a festive time of year. Colorfully decorated eggs and other traditions give everyone, including visitors, something to look forward to. Easter markets in Prague are set up in the weeks preceding the holiday."

  • 04 of 09

    Hungarian Easter Traditions

    Close-Up Of Easter Eggs
    Mária Méhész / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Kerry Kubilius says, "Easter in Hungary is celebrated with folk traditions and festivals that mark this springtime holiday. ... Villages throughout Hungary will celebrate according to their own traditions and may host official Easter festivals."

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09
    Easter Eggs!
    A. Aleksandravicius / Getty Images

    Celebrations for Easter or velykos in Lithuania actually begin on Palm Sunday with the start of Great Week.

  • 06 of 09
    Close-Up Of Lamb Shape Cookie Held By Woman
    Stefanie Jost / EyeEm / Getty Images

    After the self-denial of Lent, all the stops are pulled for the glorious celebration of Christ's Resurrection -- Easter.

  • 07 of 09

    Russian Easter Traditions

    High Angle View Of Easter Cake And Eggs On Table
    Mike Zubrenkov / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Kerry Kubilius says, "Easter in Russia is one of the most important Russian holidays. The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Easter according to the Orthodox calendar, and it can occur in April or May. Like many countries in Eastern Europe, Russians celebrate Easter with decorated eggs and special foods and customs."

  • 08 of 09
    Red Easter Eggs on Plates
    tanjica perovic photography / Getty Images

    First and foremost, Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ with many church services held. But it's also the opportunity to break the strict Orthodox Lenten fast with great quantities of food.

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  • 09 of 09
    Close-Up Of Painting Easter Egg
    Anton Eine / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Easter is the most solemn and important religious holiday of the year, even surpassing Christmas. Preparations are made weeks in advance and the cooking of ritual foods for the blessed Easter basket begins well before Holy Thursday (after which no work is done), but not a morsel is eaten until Easter morning.