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Why do the russians celebrate easter?

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  • Russians are part of the Orthodox Church - a very big part of that church.
  • In the Orthodox Church, Easter is called 'Pascha from the latin Paschal

The Orthodox Church as Eight great feasts in honor of Jesus Christ, and four great feasts honoring the Virgin Mary - the Theotokos - and these comprise The Twelve Great Feasts.

  • September 8, the Nativity of the Theotokos
  • September 14, the Exaltation of the Cross
  • November 21, the Presentation of the Theotokos
  • December 25, the Nativity of Christ
  • January 6, the Baptism of Christ -- Theophany, also called Epiphany
  • February 2, the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple
  • March 25, the Annunciation
  • The Sunday before Pascha ~ the Entry into Jerusalem or Flowery/Willow/Palm Sunday
  • Forty Days after Pascha ~ the Ascension of Christ
  • Fifty Days after Pascha ~ Pentecost
  • August 6, the Transfiguration
  • August 15, the Dormition (Falling Asleep) of the Theotokos

In Eastern Christianity, the spiritual preparation for Pascha begins with Great Lent, which starts on Clean Monday and lasts for 40 continuous days (including Sundays). The last week of Great Lent (following the fifth Sunday of Great Lent) is called Palm Week, and ends with Lazarus Saturday. The Vespers which begins Lazarus Saturday officially brings Great Lent to a close, although the fast continues through the following week. After Lazarus Saturday comes Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and finally Pascha itself, and the fast is broken immediately after the Paschal Divine Liturgy.

The Paschal Vigil begins with the Midnight Office, which is the last service of the Lenten Triodion and is timed so that it ends a little before midnight on Holy Saturday night. At the stroke of midnight the Paschal celebration itself begins, consisting of Paschal Matins, Paschal Hours, and Paschal Divine Liturgy.[56] Placing the Paschal Divine Liturgy at midnight guarantees that no Divine Liturgy will come earlier in the morning, ensuring its place as the pre-eminent "Feast of Feasts" in the liturgical year.

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