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Macedonian Easter -Legends, traditions and preparation

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There are a number of customs that will always take a central place in Easter celebration in Macedonia and Macedonians . According to the legend the Easter red eggs and the Easter greeting “Christ is risen”, first was coined by Mary Magdalene. She was always attending sermons of Jesus and was the  first to come to his grave on Sunday morning after he has been crucified on the Good Friday . She was the first one to see  his tomb empty and saw Jesus resurrected. After that she started traveling the world to preach the teachings of Christ.
Legend of the red Easter Egg believes that when Jesus was crucified, the blood dripping from his hands and feet painted the stones red. As the memory of that event, people today are painting red eggs for Easter. The red color symbolizes the blood of Christ.

There are a variety of beliefs and practices related to the Easter egg dying in Macedonia , but broadly accepted and practiced the following rituals:

– The first eggs (three or more) are painted on Maundy Thursday before sunrise. The housewife that will paint the Easter eggs shouldn’t be hungry and be with positive thoughts, because it is believed that hunger and negativity reflect on the eggs. The first eggs have to be painted in red, and left on the first sun rays after painting . It is believed that eggs prepared this way will stay fresh until next Easter. Immediately after sun rise the mother should roll the eggs over her children cheeks saying: “Crveno, Belo, Debelo ” or “Crveno ,Belo,Zdravo i Zivo” and symbolism is as follows – thick as an egg, and red cheeks as sign of good health. On Maundy Thursday the girls wash their hair in water with red egg and geranium plant.easter traditions Otrhodox Easter in Macedoniashadow7 Otrhodox Easter in Macedonia

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– Good Friday (the Friday before Easter) is considered to be the hardest day, because on that day Jesus Christ was crucified. That is why on  this day one should not  cook, but go to church, where he brings flowers. Anyone who leaves flowers in the church brings health home.
– On Saturday before Easter, young children bath with geranium white bryony and red egg. Geranium to be healthy, white bryony to be solid, and the first red egg to be white and red.
– On the very day of Easter the 46 days fast finishes . Those who fasted go to church to communion. Believers congratulating the holiday to each other with the words: “Christ is Risen – Indeed He is Risen”.Hristos se rodi – Vistina se rodi . On Easter Sunday people visit  relatives and friends , and in return  receive Easter eggs. Enjoy breaking eggs, where the one who wins gets the egg and the one that lost.

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