This year Pascha was a home-made affair in our home. Pascha is another name for Easter in the Orthodox Christian Church. Here is a little photo journal of some of the activities we did to prepare. We did all of this on Holy Saturday before we went to the Pascha Service which is a beautiful midnight candlelight service.
First we dyed our eggs. Easter eggs in the Orthodox tradition are usually red. Red symbolizes the blood that Jesus shed for us and the egg itself has been a symbol of life in many cultures for thousands of years. There also another wonderful explanation for the use of red eggs.
It is said that shortly after the resurrection of Christ, Mary Magdalene traveled to Rome and met with Emperor Tiberius. She denounced Pilate, who had been placed in power by Tiberius, for his handling of Jesus’ trial. She began to talk about Jesus’ resurrection. She held an egg in her hand and talked about its symbolism of the resurrection- the shell being the tomb which gives way to new life, the resurrected Christ. Tiberius was unmoved and replied that there was as much chance of a human being returning to life as there was for the egg to turn red. Immediately, the egg turned red in her hand! This is why Orthodox Christians exchange red eggs at Easter. It is said that Tiberius removed Pilate from Jerusalem to Gaul, where he died of a horrible sickness.
We also made a traditional Easter bread which is similar to brioche (eggy sweet bread). I have only made bread from scratch once before (it didn’t turn out great) and I was especially excited because I got a recipe from Susan at Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy using one of the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes recipes. (Thanks Susan!) This recipe is a no-knead recipe and I will DEFINITELY be using it again!
The results were more than I hoped for. My only little peeve is that the bread came out darker than I would have liked it to. (Possibly from our oven running hotter than the dial says.) But it tasted AMAZING! We gave one loaf to Dh’s parents who raved about it after having it for breakfast on Easter morning. We also gave one loaf to our neighbours, but we haven’t seen them yet to hear their verdict. After 7 weeks of fasting from meat, fish and dairy during Lent, this bread was just wonderful to have for breakfast! YUMM!!