With the approaching Easter week and the wafting aromatic smells from bakeries, the next question begins to torment many, is it possible to eat a Easter cake before Easter? The temptation is so strong when the central rows of supermarkets meet visitors with delicious kulichs, decorated with colorful glazes and sprinkles, that they will not leave anyone indifferent. Let's see what this long tradition of abstaining from eating Easter baking is caused by.
Easter cake is sweet pastry, which occupies the main place on the festive table on the day of Easter. This dessert represents a symbol reminiscent of the resurrection of Christ. However, historians hold the opinion that Easter cakes were baked during the times of paganism even before the appearance of Christianity in Russia. At that far time, kulichs symbolized things that were completely distant from worship.
According to the Orthodox tradition, it is necessary to make Easter, paint eggs, bake Easter cakes in Holy Week on Great (Clean) Thursday. On Saturday, food was sanctified for the holiday table, and they were tasted on the day of Christ’s Sunday. Three days is a long time for gastronomic abstinence, when there are delicious pastries decorated with sprinkles and multicolored glazes next to them, but true believers are forced to resist this temptation, since they are the ones who eat Easter cakes before Easter.
With the holiday approaching for some time, many personalities are reborn religious feelings, and even individuals, in principle, very far from religion, begin to pay tribute to this celebration. Let's clarify the situation, why it is impossible to eat Easter cakes before Easter.
It is believed that passionate week refers to the period of strict fasting. Of the food allowed only boiled and raw vegetables, bread, water. The whole week until the Great Resurrection is a reminder of the sufferings that Christ endured. This time is not intended for gluttony, but for spiritual transfiguration. Butter bread, which is the Easter cake, is a symbol of a long-awaited celebration. And if the unrestrained sweet tooth will eat it before Easter, then the sacred meaning of the holiday will be lost.
The Orthodox Church allows not expecting fasting for future moms and nursing women, children under the age of seven, as well as those who have poor health and cannot follow a strict diet for medical reasons. If a sick relative or a child wants a piece of cake, and before the holiday is still far, then you can treat them with this baking and it will not be considered a sin.
On the part of the Orthodox Church, there is no categorical official ban on pre-testing of Easter baking. The value represents only the personal opinion of each individual and his attitude to this issue. If all the same, unbearable, and I want to try Easter in advance, then you can eat it, and do not worry.
Not all people starting a resurrection festive meal with Easter treats can be attributed to true believers. The origin of Easter baking is lost in the depths of paganism. Most people who are not bound by religious beliefs and do not adhere to church fastings, nevertheless, are kept from tasting Easter cakes until the fixed day in order to preserve the impression of a general holiday. By tradition, Easter baking can be eaten throughout Easter week.
In Orthodoxy, the Easter cake means that those believers who prepare this baking will find the Savior’s presence in their home. Raisins in Easter baking symbolize the sweetness of union with the divine, confidence in the atonement of sins and acquired protection. For Christians, the name of the holiday has the following meaning: "the transition from death to life, from earth to heaven."
This pastry was broken up after the completion of the Easter service. Occasionally, parishioners directly in the church treated each other and clergymen with their culinary products, but often at home the head of the family, by the number of household members, divided the cake into everyone. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the spring full moon.
According to the tradition, starting from Easter night, and for the next forty days, greet each other like this: "Christ is Risen!" - "Truly Risen!" In this case, since the time of the Apostles, it has been customary to kiss three times.
For those who want to resist the temptation to eat a cake before Easter, we offer some useful tips.
It is necessary to buy or bake Easter cakes not in advance, but right before the holiday, on the eve of the consecration by the church, for example, on Saturday.
You can bake or buy a few Lenten bakery products (without prohibited eggs, milk and butter), which will help to wait for the holiday.
Summing up, I would like to note that in any case, the decision remains for each individual person. However, it should be remembered that if you eat a cake before Easter, then there will be no feeling of celebration in the absence of an anxious wait, because the cake is the main dish of the table, and the meal will look normal, not festive.