The Student News Site of Elmwood Park High School

The Tiger

The Student News Site of Elmwood Park High School

The Tiger

The Student News Site of Elmwood Park High School

The Tiger

Orthodox Easter VS. Catholic Easter Traditions


What is Easter? Easter is a religious holiday that celebrates Jesus’s resurrection. You may or may not know this, but not everyone celebrates Easter on the same day. Sometimes, you may see someone post “Happy Orthodox Easter” and wonder what that is or what it means. I am going to introduce to you what Orthodox Easter is versus what Catholic Easter is, the difference between the two, the similarities, and all the traditions.

Orthodox Easter

Orthodox Easter is celebrated on a different day than Catholic Easter. This year, Catholic Easter is on March 31st and Orthodox Easter is on May 5th. This is because people who are Orthodox follow a different calendar than those who are Catholic. Catholics follow a Gregorian calendar and Orthodox individuals follow a Julian calendar. Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine are some countries that celebrate Orthodox Easter. All these countries have different traditions. I decided to interview some of EPHS students and asked them about their Orthodox Easter traditions and what their families do.

This is what most eggs look like in Slavic and Balkan countries. They Are called “Pysanky”.


Milana Brilyak: “First my family gets baskets and fills them with traditional Ukrainian Easter food. For example, kielbasa, butter in the shape of a lamb, boiled eggs, and eggs that we decorate in Ukrainian style but we don’t eat this food yet. We go to church on Saturday and the pastor comes around with holy water to bless our food and the people there. Then, on Sunday morning, my family gets together for breakfast and we eat the food that was blessed for us on Saturday.”

This is a traditional Ukrainian Easter basket. The bread you see is called “Paska”

Nikoljia Bulatovic: “In my family, we paint eggs, we go to church the night before to get these branches of leaves that bless our house for Easter.”

These are traditional Serbian Easter eggs. They tend to be painted more brown with pretty flowers and leaves.

Catholic Easter

Catholics celebrate Easter on March 31st this year due to the Gregorian calendar they follow. The USA, Italy, Spain, Poland, and Mexico are a few countries that celebrate Catholic Easter.  Some Catholics may have different traditions. I interviewed a few students here at EPHS and asked about their Catholic Easter traditions to get a new perspective on the difference and similarities between Catholic Easter and Orthodox Easter.

In the USA some families have an Easter Egg Hunt. Inside the eggs you can find money, candy, etc.


Camilia Budzyna: “On Easter, my family wakes up at 6 AM for mass. During the mass we have a procession where we walk outside singing and then after church, we eat breakfast from the food we blessed the day before.”

This is a traditional Polish table set and ready to eat on Easter. On the right is a dish called “Holodets” which is meat inside jelly with vegetables.

Olivia Shipinski: “For Easter, my family and I usually try to go to church if we can. It is usually a bigger mass, so we try to attend. We also usually cook a big meal, typically ham. Then, we invite our family and friends over to eat and celebrate with us. Lastly, my parents also gift my brother and I an Easter basket.”

Some families in the USA gift their children Easter Baskets. These baskets usually include stuff like candy and toys the child likes.

Both Easters and different cultures seem to have similar traditions like Milana and Camilia. Both eat the food they get blessed at church the morning after. Although they have different Easters, they have the same traditions. Everyone goes to church on Easter, either on Saturday or Sunday. Also, Milana and Nikoljia both paint eggs in their traditional style. The only difference found was that Olivia gets an Easter basket and no one else does.

After interviewing some students to hear about their various traditions, they all seem similar. Although each family celebrates differently, and the day that Easter is on is different for some cultures, the traditions aren’t that much different. I hope after reading this article you got to learn about the two different Easters celebrated by all different types of cultures and the traditions.

      Work Cited: 

(C. Budzyna, personal communication, March fourth twenty twenty four)

(M. Brilyak, personal communication, March fourth twenty twenty four)

(N. Bulatovic, personal communication, March fourth twenty twenty four)

(O.Shipinski, personal communication, March fourth twenty twenty four)

Popko, Susan. “Celebration of Global Holidays .” April 30, 2021 – Celebrate Eastern Orthodox Easter, 30 Apr. 2021,            easter/#:~:text=On%20Sunday%2C%20May%202%20people,%2C%20Sudan%2C%20Syria%20and%20Ukraine.

Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Elmwood Park High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Julia Kravchuk
Julia Kravchuk, Staff Reporter
Hi, my name is Julia Kravchuk and I am a sophomore here at Elmwood Park High School. I am involved in a few extracurricular activities at EPHS: volleyball, cheerleading, and student council. I enjoy baking, spending time with my friends, and organizing things. In the future, I want to be a Dermatologist and coach a high school volleyball team. 
Donate to The Tiger