Triple kissing and the giving of eggs as presents are distinctive features of celebrating Easter in Russia. On the first day of Easter people marvel at sunrise early in the morning and predict weather for all of the summer. People put on new clothes as a symbol of new life, a tradition that goes back to the early Christians who were baptised at sunrise on the first Easter day. After the end of Lent, it is acceptable to wear bright and colourful clothes, especially red. It is believed that the gates to heaven are open during Easter week and everybody who dies during this time goes straight to heaven.
The Imperial Kulich is a traditional Russian Easter cake. You will need a lot of eggs, butter and sugar so that the cake remains fresh for a long time. A special 1-1.5 cubic litre, tall cylindrical form, made from aluminium is used for baking the kulich. Forms are washed over with butter and half-filled with dough. The finished Kulich is decorated with sugar frosting, candied peel, nuts and sugar, with a rose placed on top to add the final finishing touch. Kulich, pashka and painted eggs can all be found at the Merchant’s Yard this Easter.
The Easter breakfast is an important ritual in Russia, bringing all the family members together around a beautifully-decorated table for a sumptuous feast. The Lenten fast is broken by first eating the eggs bless in church. Kulich and pashka are then divided up and then the family can proceed on to other dishes.
The Merchant’s Place, 41 Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge, London SW3 1NX