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Ukrainians practice coloring eggs called pysanky it is a famous tradition in Ukraine. But Easter in Ukraine is surrounded by many more customs, rituals, and traditions that meld Christian and pagan practices together. The specially-baked Easter bread, called paska, has great symbolic significance in Ukraine. The baker of the bread must keep her thoughts pure and the household must remain quiet for the bread to retain its fluffy texture while in the oven. It is customary to keep the baking of the paska a strictly family affair neighbors or strangers are not permitted to enter the house while the paska is being prepared.
In ancient times the man of the house would stand guard at the door while the paska loaf was being made to prevent any intruders from casting the evil eye onto the bread and thus threatening the family’s prosperity for the coming year.
The paska bread sometimes shown as having been baked in saucepans so that the shape is somewhat tall and cylindrical is decorated with symbols welcoming springtime.
While Christian symbols like crosses may decorate the paska loaf many symbols are of pagan origins. Flowers leaves birds and sun symbols are often formed out of dough and baked into the golden-brown crust of this Easter bread. In some cases three paska loaves may be baked at different times during the Easter season. The first one honors nature the second the dead and the third those on earth. These are not eaten until Easter Sunday when the Easter feast is laid on the table and consumed by the family.
Also on Easter families gather up and go to church.
People celebrate this holiday usually according to their beliefs and their religious denominations. Christians commemorate Good Friday as the day that Jesus Christ died and Easter Sunday as the day that He was resurrected. On Easter Sunday children wake up and see that the Easter Bunny has left them baskets of candy. He has also hidden the eggs that they decorated earlier that week. Children hunt for the eggs all around the house. Neighborhoods and organizations hold Easter egg hunts, and the child who finds the most eggs wins a prize. The Easter Bunny is a rabbit-spirit. Long ago, he was called the” Easter Hare.”
Hares and rabbits have frequent multiple births so they became a symbol of fertility. The custom of an Easter egg hunt began because children believed that hares laid eggs in the grass. Children also like making Easter eggs they use dye and decorated with special stickers. Easter is celebrated in USA with traditional fervor and gaiety. Sunday church services and festive celebrations blend together during the Easter weekend. On Easter Sunday in New York and other cities, large Easter parades are held where people turn out in their fashionable outfits. The person leading the parade holds Easter candle or cross in his hand. In both Ukraine and USA families usually go to church on Easter Sunday and we both make decorate eggs but in different ways.
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