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Transcarpathians eat Easter birds: where has the incredible tradition been preserved and what is its peculiarity?

28.03.2024 21:23 Culture 0

The region cherishes unique Easter traditions.

Transcarpathians eat Easter birds: where has the incredible tradition been preserved and what is its peculiarity?

Easter will soon be celebrated in the region. This year, for Roman Catholics, the date of the holiday fell on March 31. For Orthodox and Greek Catholics, Easter is later - May 5. At the same time, no matter how different the dates of one of the greatest church holidays are, the traditions preserved in Transcarpathian families are special and unchangeable. 

Different districts and settlements have their own traditions associated with the Easter event. They are kept by adults and children and inherited by the younger child.

Baking Easter birds and treats on Maundy Thursday

Perhaps one of the most colorful districts in Transcarpathia is Rakhiv. Wonderful traditions from ancient times have been preserved here.  They are kept from grandfathers and great-grandfathers and passed on to the younger generation. One  of the unique traditions in the Rakhiv region for the Easter holidays is the baking of "potyat" or "kukuts" - birds. They are made with sour dough on Wednesday. And the children are treated to a delicacy already on Maundy Thursday.

- We have had this tradition since I knew it. Always, on the eve of  Maundy Thursday, we bake such birds, then treat the children with them. Children come on Maundy Thursday. They call from outside:  "Do you receive them in the house, do you hear the gazdo, or do you sleep? Give me cuckoo, and also an egg!" says the interlocutor.
- As the owners enter  the  house, they give the children treats — chocolate, Easter eggs, etc. Both boys and girls go. These are young people aged 13-14, but there are also much older ones," adds Ms. Anna.
- Poteats are baked by housewives from sour dough. It should sour nicely before it can be made into bird figurines, notes the housewife. - But you don't need it to be too acidic. For a kilogram of flour, I take milk, yeast, melt butter, give yolks (without proteins), add vanillin for flavor. I knead the dough as for buns. I leave it to sour. Then I take the dough and form a kind of sausage from it, and then I take a piece at a time and form cuckoos - birds. I sculpt the head, eyes and tail (I slap it). I make my eyes out of blueberries. As soon as they are already formed, I leave them to come up a little more. Just before baking, I beautifully coat the cuckoo with yolks on top . I bake the dough for about half an hour, I don't need more time, because it will be hard, - the housewife notes.
- I pour glaze over the finished cuckoos and sprinkle them with confectionery powder to make them beautiful. My daughter helps in this matter," says the housewife.

By the way, cuckoos are called a type of buns. They are different. They can be sweet and bland. They are given to children on Maundy Thursday before Easter for forgiveness, for the souls of the dead,  health, so that it can be carried out in the household. On Thursday, before lunch, the kids go from house to house, bring a good mood to the house, and as a reward - homemade delicacies.

In Perechyn district, each local family also has its own customs and traditions for the Easter holiday. Today is Maundy Thursday for local Roman Catholics, and this day before Easter is one of the most important. 

Holiday traditions. Maundy Thursday

Early in the morning on Holy Thursday, believers go to traditional mass. During the church service, the clergy renew the vows they made when shaking hands. This tradition originated in remembrance of the Messiah. On this Thursday evening, the saints, like the Messiah, wash the feet of all who come to church. During the ablution session, the monks and the faithful pray at the same time. This is to show the Lord that all his good deeds will never be forgotten. When believers hear the hymn, they begin to pray again, and ask the Lord for protection and health.

The most important thing a Catholic should do on this day is to go to church. This is a feature not only of Catholic Thursday, but also of Orthodox Thursday.

After prayer and ablution session, believers offer sacred gifts (bread and wine). These gifts are to be carried in procession through the temple to a place that has been prepared in one of the chapels, where they will be kept until Friday. This rite is the main symbol of the Messiah's imprisonment. The leader and responsible for the entire procession is the monk, holding a cross in his hands. In front of the priests with gifts are priests holding incense and candles in their hands.

On Maundy Thursday it is forbidden:

  • get fond of alcoholic beverages;
  • use foul language;
  • engage in heavy physical labor;
  • conflict and quarrel with relatives;
  • think about bad things;
  • ignore the requests of the clergy.

Read also: They are back: some of the oldest creatures on the planet can be seen in this village in the Zakarpattia community (PHOTOS)

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