What Is Orthodox Easter?

For Orthodox Christians all over the world, it's almost time to celebrate "the other Easter."

Posted in , Apr 5, 2018

Orthodox Easter

Hooray, this Sunday is Orthodox Easter!

Okay. I know what you might be thinking. First: “What on earth is ‘Orthodox Easter’?” Second: “Wasn’t Easter last week?” Third: “Is this just some ploy to celebrate Easter a second week in a row to take advantage of all those Easter candy sales?”

Rest assured, my friends, Orthodox Easter is very much a thing. Orthodox Christians all over the world–from Lebanon to Greece to Canada to India–celebrate Easter according to the Julian calendar and after Passover.

My family hails from southeastern Turkey. We’re Assyrian Orthodox. Growing up, “the other Easter” was a complex thing to explain to my classmates in elementary school. I sort of wished we could just celebrate Easter the normal way, even with the full-price candy. It’d save so much explaining!

Now, though, I don’t mind the difference in Easter dates. If you think about it, I get to reflect on the miracle of Easter not once, but twice. First, with all my Catholic and Protestant friends (who sometimes celebrate Easter five weeks before I do). And then a second time with all of my family. If Lent is a time of preparation and reflection, then I’m definitely all prepared and reflected by the time our Easter finally rolls around. (The highly discounted Cadbury eggs are just an added benefit!)

So I have a unique proposition for you. If you’re not an Orthodox Christian, celebrate Easter with us anyway this year. Have a hard-boiled egg, sing a favorite Easter hymn (one of my favorites is “I Am the Bread of Life”) and reflect on the beautiful miracle of Christ on the cross again.   

Happy Easter!

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