Author Topic: Bright Week traditions?  (Read 2597 times)

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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Bright Week traditions?
« on: April 05, 2010, 10:21:51 PM »
One of the many aspects about Orthodoxy that I love is the fact that Pascha isn't just one day and then it's back to the same 'ol same 'ol.  If I understand correctly, the entire Bright Week is supposed to be a festive occasion (witness that there is no fasting all week).  I thought it would be nice if Orthodox Christians could all share Bright Week traditions with each other.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 10:22:13 PM by GabrieltheCelt »
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Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Re: Bright Week traditions?
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2010, 10:28:06 PM »
Unfortunately I've never been able to take off from work/school for Bright Week.

I have heard of the below Ukrainian (and Russian, I think) tradition:

On Easter Monday, the men and young boys visit the homes of their friends where they throw water on the women, usually on their hands. In doing do they say "Christos Voskres!" (Christ is Risen!) while the girls reply "Voyistynu Voskres!"(Indeed He is Risen!). Many times the young men like to have fun when they go "polyvaty" and go beyond the bounds. They probably will pour buckets of water on the girl or lead her to a well and give her a good soaking. Easter Tuesday is the time when the women take revenge on the men. That is their day for "polyvanja". This custom is a very sociable one since it brings together the young people. Also as a result of it, enemies forget their differences and become friends. It is considered bad luck if a home is passed by during the "polyvanja.”
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Offline Rosehip

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Re: Bright Week traditions?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2010, 10:45:20 PM »
Not really a tradition, perhaps, but my fondest (and most romantic by far) memory of Bright Week was visiting a remote and delapitated monastery in the outskirts of Kyiv on a Bright Tuesday. I met a novice there, with whom I had become friends. He was very cute and we spent the whole afternoon on a long walk through the forests and he showed me all his favourite spots and took me around the neighbourhood to meet all the local grannies, etc. He gave me a gift of monastery honey and pulled chunks of Pascha bread from his pockets, which we ate together. I wasn't yet Orthodox then, and I remember telling him about my church and him shaking his head and saying, "But you can't force people to live like that!". He took me to the bus stop and as I prepared to board it, he bowed and said "Christos Voskrese!". It was one of the best days of my life. Not a tradition, as I said earlier, just a fond, sentimental memory of happier times...
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Bright Week traditions?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2010, 11:08:38 PM »
@ Handmaidenofgod - what is the symbolism of throwing water?


Also, more of a liturgical tradition:  the prayer to the Holy Spirit, "O Heavenly King", said in almost every Orthodox prayer service is NOT said from Paschal matins (the first service of the Pentecostarion), which begins at midnight on the Sunday of Pascha, until the Vespers service for Pentecost. Anywhere this prayer occurs it is omitted, and until Ascension Thursday, is substituted with the Paschal troparion (Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life), sung three times. We are like the Apostles during this period, "waiting" for the Holy Spirit to come, and the absence of this prayer makes a strong statement of our profound need for the Holy Spirit. http://www.orthodox.net/questions/bright_week_1.html
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Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Re: Bright Week traditions?
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2010, 11:22:25 PM »
@ Handmaidenofgod - what is the symbolism of throwing water?

I'm not sure. Perhaps Christ washing away our sins? This old tradition dates back to pagan worship of water as the life-giving element. (Sort of how the tradition of Pysanky goes back to Pagan times and has been "Christianized.")

I remember when I used to attend an OCA parish they used to squirt one another on Bright Monday with water, so I'm assuming that both Russians and Ukrainians do this. I could be wrong, since the parish was made up of Russians, Ukrainians, Romanians, and Georgians.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 11:23:26 PM by HandmaidenofGod »
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Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Re: Bright Week traditions?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2010, 11:23:06 PM »
Also, more of a liturgical tradition:  the prayer to the Holy Spirit, "O Heavenly King", said in almost every Orthodox prayer service is NOT said from Paschal matins (the first service of the Pentecostarion), which begins at midnight on the Sunday of Pascha, until the Vespers service for Pentecost. Anywhere this prayer occurs it is omitted, and until Ascension Thursday, is substituted with the Paschal troparion (Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life), sung three times. We are like the Apostles during this period, "waiting" for the Holy Spirit to come, and the absence of this prayer makes a strong statement of our profound need for the Holy Spirit. http://www.orthodox.net/questions/bright_week_1.html

Also, no kneeling until Pentacost!

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Offline Thankful

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Re: Bright Week traditions?
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2010, 03:06:43 AM »
Also, more of a liturgical tradition:  the prayer to the Holy Spirit, "O Heavenly King", said in almost every Orthodox prayer service is NOT said from Paschal matins (the first service of the Pentecostarion), which begins at midnight on the Sunday of Pascha, until the Vespers service for Pentecost. Anywhere this prayer occurs it is omitted, and until Ascension Thursday, is substituted with the Paschal troparion (Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life), sung three times. We are like the Apostles during this period, "waiting" for the Holy Spirit to come, and the absence of this prayer makes a strong statement of our profound need for the Holy Spirit. http://www.orthodox.net/questions/bright_week_1.html

Also, no kneeling until Pentacost!



Does that include no prostrations? 

Offline augustin717

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Re: Bright Week traditions?
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2010, 03:15:00 AM »
Not much work this week, traditionally ;)

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Re: Bright Week traditions?
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2010, 03:23:30 AM »
Also, more of a liturgical tradition:  the prayer to the Holy Spirit, "O Heavenly King", said in almost every Orthodox prayer service is NOT said from Paschal matins (the first service of the Pentecostarion), which begins at midnight on the Sunday of Pascha, until the Vespers service for Pentecost. Anywhere this prayer occurs it is omitted, and until Ascension Thursday, is substituted with the Paschal troparion (Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life), sung three times. We are like the Apostles during this period, "waiting" for the Holy Spirit to come, and the absence of this prayer makes a strong statement of our profound need for the Holy Spirit. http://www.orthodox.net/questions/bright_week_1.html

Also, no kneeling until Pentacost!



Does that include no prostrations?  
Indeed it does.

One local custom in my parish:  Those of us who show up for Divine Liturgy on Bright Monday morning will go out for breakfast at one of the local restaurants afterward.  I ate a three-egg sausage and brie omelette this morning.  Quite good.  (Burp!)
« Last Edit: April 06, 2010, 03:26:49 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: Bright Week traditions?
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2010, 05:17:36 AM »
In the EOTC we have a 50 day Feast period after Fasika/Easter until Pentecost. This is the only time of the year that we do not have to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. :)


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« Last Edit: April 06, 2010, 05:18:39 AM by Gebre Menfes Kidus »
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Offline mike

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Re: Bright Week traditions?
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2010, 06:43:58 AM »
I've always thought that hosing each other off on Easter Monday is typical Polish tradition and I never heard that it's common in Ukraine too, especially while it's unpractised by Orthodox minorities in Poland (Belarusians, Ukrainians, Lemkos, Podlachians). I think it has pagan origins and is not related to Christianity at all. Every excuse to make young girls soaking wet is a good one.

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Offline Altar Server

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Re: Bright Week traditions?
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2010, 08:00:47 AM »
Theres a Tradition in my parish that on Bright Monday after the liturgy we all gather in the parish hall for a brunch  and the younger kids go outside and soak each other with water it went on for hours :)
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Offline augustin717

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Re: Bright Week traditions?
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2010, 10:18:15 AM »
We throw water at girls on St. George's day (on Eastertide most of the time, anyway), but in other regions of Romania they do it on the second day of Easter. The Hungarians do it too, on that day.
Also, they used to start holding the  village Sunday dance, on Easter, after the interruption caused by Lent.

Offline Chacci

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Re: Bright Week traditions?
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2010, 05:16:42 PM »
My Antiochian Church gathers with the Russian Church at a nearby park to have a BBQ every year for Bright Monday.  THere is usually some kite flying, some flag football, and some music.  This year it was too cold to have it at the park so we met at my Priests house.  Some of us more hardcore manly types still stood outside tending the BBQ untill it got a little to unbearably cold - then we went inside. 

Offline Father H

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Re: Bright Week traditions?
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2010, 08:11:10 PM »
@ Handmaidenofgod - what is the symbolism of throwing water?

I'm not sure. Perhaps Christ washing away our sins? This old tradition dates back to pagan worship of water as the life-giving element. (Sort of how the tradition of Pysanky goes back to Pagan times and has been "Christianized.")

I remember when I used to attend an OCA parish they used to squirt one another on Bright Monday with water, so I'm assuming that both Russians and Ukrainians do this. I could be wrong, since the parish was made up of Russians, Ukrainians, Romanians, and Georgians.

It is a Carpatho-Rusyn tradition, water recalling our being "buried with Him and rising with Him" in our baptism, and our continual renewal of it each year at Holy Pascha.   At Pascha we celebrate the illumination of the newly baptized, on bright monday that the whole Bride of Christ was cleansed and born anew in this same waters.     

Offline Father H

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Re: Bright Week traditions?
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2010, 08:13:03 PM »
A follow up question:  how many parishes have any significant number of people showing up to have bright week traditions?   

Offline Anastasios

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Re: Bright Week traditions?
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2010, 08:16:02 PM »
My former Byzantine Catholic parish tried to make it fair by having the girls doused on Monday and the boys doused on Tuesday :)

The most common Bright Week tradition in my mission is eating lots of ham all week long.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Bright Week traditions?
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2010, 09:35:31 PM »
Bright Monday is Shamm al-Nasiim (smelling the breeze) in Egypt.  We pic nic in the cemetary and you are supposed to eat eggs and fasiikh (rotten fish: now some people settle for canned tuna).  I can't stand either, and eat Pascha leftovers.

We used to color eggs on Shamm al-Nasiim, but my sons said that they were too old this year, and I don't eat eggs.
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Offline Punch

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Re: Bright Week traditions?
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2010, 10:59:04 PM »
My Bright Week tradition is to eat at every fast food joint in my general area, and try to have the strength to fast from anything that even remotely resembles a bean or a vegetable.
I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.

Offline LBK

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Re: Bright Week traditions?
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2010, 11:25:49 PM »
My Bright Week tradition is to eat at every fast food joint in my general area, and try to have the strength to fast from anything that even remotely resembles a bean or a vegetable.

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« Last Edit: April 06, 2010, 11:26:24 PM by LBK »
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Offline augustin717

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Re: Bright Week traditions?
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2010, 12:00:42 AM »
Quote
It is a Carpatho-Rusyn tradition]It is a Carpatho-Rusyn tradition
It's rather a Central European / Austro-Hungarian tradition shared by all peoples of the former empire. Possibly even more.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2010, 12:01:25 AM by augustin717 »

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Re: Bright Week traditions?
« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2010, 02:46:06 PM »
Quote
It is a Carpatho-Rusyn tradition]It is a Carpatho-Rusyn tradition
It's rather a Central European / Austro-Hungarian tradition shared by all peoples of the former empire. Possibly even more.


It is a Central/Eastern European custom. I recall when i lived in Buffalo, NY, home to a large Polish American Catholic population that Easter Monday was called 'Dingus Day' with a large parade and parties withthe splashing of water on young ladies being a featured part of the activities. (The best smoked kolbasa/kielbasi was from the Broadway Market! Wonder if they still have it?)  My father was pastor of several Carpatho-Rusyn parishes in the northeast and lived in New Jersey as a boy and he told me that the observance differed from region to region and was not universal, probably depending on what sort of neighbors shared the village or region in the 'Old Country.'