Events Calendar

Easter (Resurrection Sunday)

In 2018, Catholics, Protestants and Armenians celebrate Easter on April 1, while the Orthodox Christians – on April 8.

On Easter Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day of his crucifixion. His empty tomb was found by the women myrrhbearers who had come to his grave. After that, Jesus Christ visited Mary Magdalene and the Apostles.

The preparations for this holiday start the week before Easter called Holly Week. This is the last week of Christ’s life - it begins with his triumphant entry into Jerusalem and ends with his Resurrection. Each day of this week is holy. It is also the last week of Lent and special church services are held every day. Easter is on the last day of the week.

Orthodox Easter

April 6 - Holy Friday; April 7 - Holy Saturday; April 8 - Resurrection Sunday (Pascha)

On Holy Friday morning a special ritual is held where people pass under a table in the middle of the church. In the evening a service called the Lamentations at the Tomb is held.

On Holy Saturday are held a Divine Liturgy of St Basil the Great and in the evening at 11:30 pm – Vespers. Then Christians celebrate Holy Saturday - the Day of Silence and Prayer.

Every year, only on Orthodox Easter a miracle occurs - the descent of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem in a chapel at the place where Christ was buried. With special lanterns a fragment of the flame is transported and it illuminates a lot of Bulgarian churches – this year it will be brought once again on a government plane on Holy Saturday. On the first day of Easter at 11 am a church service is held where the Gospel is read in various languages while on the second and third day there are festive liturgies. All believers can join the prayers at church or write down their names so that they can be read during the services.

The tradition of dying eggs originates from the story of the first Easter egg: Mary Magdalene gave eggs to Emperor Tiberius and told him of the resurrection of Christ. The emperor told her that he would believe her as long as the egg she was holding turned red and it did. Because of this, red is the most popular color when dying eggs. Easter eggs are boiled and dyed on the Thursday or Saturday before Easter and they cannot be eaten before Easter. In Sofia and Bulgaria people also prepare tasty Easter bread (kozunak). 

According to old traditions, the Easter eggs are hidden for children to find on Easter morning.

They can be put into a basket covered with real or decorative straw which resembles a nest. The table on this day is covered with tasty dishes, salads and desserts.

Religious Holidays

Sunday 08 April 2018