The word for Easter, has been borrowed from Beylorussian and means “important day.”
In Lithuania the Easter morning procession was usually conducted around the church. It was very solemn: church flags were held high, girls strewed flowers, the choir and all the people sang, alternating with a brass band, and the church bells pealed loudly. At the conclusion of the liturgy in church, the people hurried home.
At home, Easter breakfast was eaten. The meal began when the homemaker peeled a blest Eaaster egg, cut it and gave a piece to every member of the family. This was done so that peace and love would always reign within the family and everyone would live in harmony.
For Easter, homemakers set out Easter dishes which remained on the table all day. When guests arrived, the women could then spend time with the company and did not need to work. The table was covered with a white cloth and decorated with greens or fruit tree brranches (mostly cherry) which were cut and set in water several weeks earlier so they would bloom for Easter.
The young who behaved with such solemnity all during Lent wanted to have fun on Easter. They were going to play various ga

ames. A variety of games were played with Easter eggs. The simplest is an egg-breaking contest. Two players face off, each holding an Easter egg and hit each other’s egg. The one whose egg remains intact is the winner. Another amusing Easter game was egg rolling. This was best done outdoors, but also could be played in a larger room.

Children hunted for hidden Easter eggs left them by the Velykų Senelė (Easter Granny) or Velykė. Bunnies who painted Easter eggs were also a familiar fixture, but they were only helpers for the Velykų Senelė. The Easter Granny travels around the country, stopping in every child’s yard to leave eggs in baskets placed or hung for that purpose. When they awake, goood children find beautifully decorated Easter eggs (and in. more recent times even sweets). Bad children only find a single plain completely white egg.

The first day of Easter was said to be dedicated to God, people were expected to conduct themselves seriously and quietly, spend time with their family, eat well and “recover from Lent.” The second day was for recreation, visiting friends and having company. The third day was devoted to relaxation. People slept late, recovered from all the me

errimaking because work was waiting in the wings.

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