How long until Memorial Easter?
|This holiday next takes place in 54 Days.|
Dates of Memorial Easter
|A commemoration of the dead on the Second Monday after Easter|
Memorial Easter is a national holiday in Moldova. It is observed on the eighth day after Orthodox Easter, which means it always falls on a Monday.
Called 'Paştele Blăjinilor' in Romanian, this holiday is also known as the Easter of the Dead or Memorial Day and Parent's Day.
Orthodox eastern Slavs have a similar celebration, called Radunitsa. In Belarus, this is a public holiday called Commemoration Day on the second Tuesday after Easter Sunday.
Despite its date being dependent on Easter and it being observed as an Orthodox Christian holiday, the origins of this festival are pagan rather than Christian with its roots based on an ancestor festival.
On Memorial Easter, families go to church and then on to the cemetery. There, the family graves are cleaned and a meal is eaten with some food intentionally let to fall on the ground as an offering to dead relatives.
In pagan times, families would have left eggs on the graves of the dead, symbolising rebirth. When Christianity arrived in the region, rather than suppress the older traditions, the church simply absorbed the rituals into Christian festivals. The egg was an easy one as the date of spring for the ancestor worship festival fell close to Easter and the use of the egg as a symbol of rebirth fitted well with the Easter message of resurrection.