Еaster, also called Pascha (Greek, Latin) or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament. It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.
Easter traditions in Bulgaria are a derivative of the Eastern Orthodox Church rituals. As the Bulgarian name implies “Velikden” (Great Day), Easter is one of the most significant holidays in the Bulgarian calendar and starting with Palm Sunday, the holy week leads up to the Great Day. In tune with worldwide Orthodox traditions, bright red colored eggs and Easter breads known as “kozunak” are the prominent symbols of Easter in Bulgaria. The custom of the Easter egg originated in the early Christian community of Mesopotamia, who stained eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ, shed at his crucifixion.
At midnight on the Saturday before Easter Sunday, people gather at the church with red painted eggs and bread. The priest proclaims three times “Christos voskrese” (Christ has risen) and the congregation replies “Vo istina voskrese” (Indeed he has risen). After a special sequence of services, the clergy blesses the breads and eggs brought by the people.