The Paska Festival of Russian Ethnic Group
Most of the traditional festivals of Russian nationality are closely related with the Orthodox Eastern Church believed by them. The religious festivals of the Orthodox Eastern Church are as many as over ten, among which, the most important are the “Christmas” and “Easter”. The “Paska Festival” is “Easter”, a festival of memorizing the “revival of Jesus Christ”. According to the record of the Bible, the founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ was nailed dead on the Cross by the Roman governor, Bilado. Three days later, he revived, and the believers of Christianity called the day as “Easter” to celebrate it.
The date of Paska Festival is not completely fixed for the difference of calendar. Generally, it is held on the first Sunday after the Spring Equinox with the full moon according to the lunar calendar of every year, mostly during the first ten days in April. 40 days before the festival, people begin to stop all the entertainment activities, go on the “fast” of abstaining from meat and only eating vegetable dishes. On the day of the festival, the fast is ended, all the men and women, old and young are dressed in their holiday best, all the households lay out the sumptuous foods that are carefully prepared, the relatives, friends and neighbors visit and congratulate each other, expressing their joyful feeling about the revival of Jesus Christ. In the rich foods prepared by all households, besides all kinds of self-made “Biqieni” (cakes), there is also a kind of food that must be prepared—-the ripe colored eggs. The eggs are in red, yellow, blue, white, orange, green or purple, etc, placed in a great plate, like a colorful flowerbed. Allegedly, they symbolize life and prosperity. Once the visiting guest enters the room, the host firstly gives him/her a colored egg to express his congratulation. During the festival visits, sometimes the hosts and guests play a game of bumping eggs, with the standard of winnings and losses, which is very interesting. After the exchange of conventional greetings, the guests are invited to take seats; the hosts will take out rich foods to entertain them, such as all kinds of cakes and drinks. There is a kind of tower-shape round bread “Gulicha”, which is similar as a big cake. It is made from flour, oil, sugar, egg and milk. The roasted surface is painted with colored cream and granulated sugar grains, glittering, sallow, soft and delicious. The hosts cut the bread into slices for the guests to taste, they believe that the people who eat this kind of bread will get happiness.
After the wine and dine, people will also hold outdoor party. The youth people that are proficient in dancing and singing play the accordion, triangle qin and guitar, sing the melodious Russian folk songs, and perform the tap dance with intense rhythm. With the unceasing mutual invitation, the men and women, old and young all participate in the activities; the party becomes a sea of happiness suddenly.