Radunitsa

Radunitsa

 

(also radonitsa; probably related to the word radost’ [“joy”]), a pagan spring festival of the Eastern Slavs held the week after Easter and connected with ancestor worship.

Radunitsa

Ninth day after Eastern Orthodox Easter, which is the first Sunday after the first full moon on or following the vernal equinox
The Slavic peoples of Eastern Europe observe Radunitsa as an Orthodox Christian holiday. This day of remembrance for the dead arrives nine days after Easter. In Belarus, a country that sits on Russia's western border, Radunitsa is a state holiday.
The holiday's origins are not Christian but pagan, thus dating back to ancient times. Many pagan believers of the region once devoted the day to ritual wailing and left gifts of eggs on the graves of the deceased. During the middle ages, churches tried to suppress this tradition's observance, but in subsequent centuries the church adopted the pagan customs into the Easter rites. The dyed eggs left for the dead, for instance, have evolved to symbolize Christ's surfacing from the tomb.
The spirit of Radunitsa is joyful in the midst of mourning. (In Slavic languages, Radunitsa and its variations mean "Joy Day.") Believers anticipate that the dead will triumph over death as Christ did following his crucifixion. Eating paschal (Easter) foods is a popular way to celebrate. Congregations will gather to eat eggs as well as pancakes, grains like kutya or kulichi, and a type of gingerbread called prianiki.
CONTACTS:
Embassy of Belarus
1619 New Hampshire Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009
202-986-1604; fax: 202-986-1805
www.belarusembassy.org
Orthodox Church in America
P.O. Box 675
Syosset, NY 11791-0675
516-922-0550; fax: 516-922-0954
www.oca.org
References in periodicals archive ?
In 1916 he published his first book, Radunitsa. It celebrates in church book imagery the "wooden Russia" of his childhood.