On the occasion of Easter, at the Museum of wooden architecture Vitoslavlitsy visitors will enjoy country Easter celebrations: the ringing of the bells and a concert of church music, singing and dancing in a ring, swinging on the swings, egg rolling and other traditional village games.
Easter is the main holiday of the Orthodox Calendar. People used to learn the day of the feast from the priest or the churchwarden. The Paschal Vigil is always held on Saturday night. In Novgorodian provinces people, having returned after the Church Service, broke their fast with eggs, Easter cakes and Paskha (a traditional Easter dish made from curd and cream). Traditional festive food was of great importance to people. It should be taken to church to be blessed.
A colored egg has taken a special place on a traditional Easter table and has become a symbol of the Holiday. It was the first thing to be eaten when the festive meal began. The first egg was put on the table and divided between all members of the family. People believed that the ritual would preserve and enhance good family relationships. But that was not all. People exchanged eggs, gave them to relatives, neighbours, friends and to the poor. People dyed eggs in boiled onion skins on Holy Thursday. A blessed egg was believed to have some magic power.
One of the favourite games played on Easter was egg rolling. It was started on the first Easter day and played for the whole week. By another widely-spread custom the priests visited people's yards and blessed the grain seeds. Swinging on the swings was also a traditional entertainment on Easter both for children and adults.
For the whole week the bellfries were free to enter and everyone could come and toll the bells. Sick people, having tolled a bell, got well sooner.