The ancient pagan origins of Easter

Easter: a secular culture celebrates the spring equinox, whilst religious culture celebrates the resurrection. In religious (and obvious) terms, Easter is a holiday celebrated by millions of people around the world, with more or less curious traditions, who honor the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament and occurred three days after his crucifixion at Calvary. But it is also, in different cultures, the day that children wait for the Easter bunny to arrive and a day to eat more or less delicious chocolate eggs. The…

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Costumes, dancing, and food: Malanka is Ukraine’s biggest party

In Ukraine, Malanka is much more than a party: it’s one of the oldest, happiest, most vibrant days of the year in local culture. It is a folk holiday celebrated on January 13th, which is New Year’s Eve in accordance with the Julian calendar, caps off the festivities of the Christmas holidays, and is often the last opportunity for partying before the solemn period of Lent which precedes Easter. By nightfall people, dressed in elaborate homemade costumes depicting bears, gypsies, goats, and nurses, will parade from house to house singing…

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