The Gymnasium has broken up for Easter Feast.
What a joy it has been to have been waiting for it, watching the rebirth of nature, cleaning indoors and outdoors, feeling light delight.
There are many Ukrainian traditional customs, beliefs, legends and stories connected with Easter,
which have come down to us from the bygone ages.
The pieces of the shell of the first egg —one of those that have been blessed by the priest after the Easter service —
eaten at the festive table, must be collected and thrown into the running water of a brook or a river.
Those who want to ring the bells of the local church are welcome to do so
(it is a custom that is practised in the countryside rather than in the town).
If you get to ring the church bells on Easter, you have a good chance of being happy.
Bonfires are built on the tops of hills close to the villages
so that their light spreading the glad news can be seen from afar.
Having dinner with your family and friends in the nature is an old tradition.
It is said that the sun that rises on Velykden is “playing” —
that is shining in a particularly bright and playful way, and
all the windows are open and the curtains are pulled apart to let the sunshine in.
The Easter sunshine is believed to give people happiness and health.
It is also believed that when the members of the congregation
with the priest at the head of their procession go around the church during the Easter service,
the Saints and the Angels come down from their icons and exchange three kisses.
Another popular legend has it that after the Resurrection, the Saviour seized Beelzebub,
chained him hand and foot and threw the ruler of all the devils into an abysmal pit and sealed it.
In the twelve months the Evil One eats his way through all the doors and is about to break the last link on the last chain,
but at that moment the chanting “Christ is risen” penetrates into the pit,
and the Evil One is hurled back to the bottom of the abyss with all the chains and the doors immediately restored.
So if people stop chanting “Christ is risen” on Velykden, the end of the world will come.
Velykden comes and people raise the chant, “Christ is risen!”
Indeed, He is risen!
We expect the students to share different stories about Easter in their comments.
They could be stories from own life experience or retold by others.