Thirty-seven percent of people, who referred to themselves as atheists, said that they would celebrate Easter holidays too
The Orthodox world is celebrating Easter, the most important religious holiday, on May 1st. President Vladimir Putin congratulated all Orthodox Christians and all Russian citizens on the holy day, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. “On this happy spring day I would like to especially emphasize the increasing positive influence of the Russian Orthodox Church and other traditional Christian confessions on the formation of the spiritual and moral climate in the Russian society, the upbringing of the growing generation, the solution of actual problems in the field of culture and education,” President Vladimir Putin said in his speech to the faithful.
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Aleksi II, congratulated all Russian citizens on the Easter holidays too. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church called upon the faithful to share their Easter joy with their friends, relatives and all surrounding people. The Patriarch also asked people to remember those, who was grieving or ailing this day, who was in need of human support and sympathy.
Aleksi II also reminded that Russia and the whole world would be celebrating the 60th anniversary of Victory over Nazism just in several days, on May 9th. “The war brought innumerable sufferings to our nation. People of my generation remember that faith started reviving during the wartime years. Those, who experienced the horror of concentration camps and trenches, were longing to go to church,” the Patriarch said. “Let peace reign in their hearts now, let their old age be worthy,” Aleski II said in his TV address to the Russian nation.
The Patriarch also pointed out that millions of Orthodox people were celebrating Easter outside Russia too – in Ukraine, Belarus, in Western Europe and on the American continent.
Over 80 thousand people took part in divine Easter services in Moscow, Itar-Tass news agency reported. The largest number of people, about 10,000 faithful, gathered in the Temple of Christ the Savior, in Moscow.
The Moscow police took additional security measures before the service started in city churches. Cynologists examined the territories of the temples prior to the divine service. Police cordons were on duty during religious processions in the streets of the city.
It is noteworthy that this year's celebration of Orthodox Easter coincided with another holiday, which is celebrated on May 1st as the holiday of spring and labor. Sociologists conducted special opinion polls in Russia's major cities to find out people's attitude to religious and secular holidays. As it turned out, 80 percent of respondents said that they were going to celebrate Easter, whereas 57 percent said they would rather prefer the First of May celebrations. About 29 percent of Russian respondents said that they regarded May 1st as an official state holiday. Twenty-six percent of people said that May 1st was simply a day off for them. Thirty-seven percent of people, who referred to themselves as atheists, said that they would celebrate Easter holidays too. Russian people traditionally bake Easter cakes, known as “kulich,” make curd paskha and color Easter eggs.