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One holiday and mixed up dates: in Transcarpathia, Roman Catholics and Greek Catholics celebrate Easter together

Culture Perechyn

This year, Roman Catholics and Greek Catholics  celebrate Easter together on March 31.

One holiday and mixed up dates: in Transcarpathia, Roman Catholics and Greek Catholics celebrate Easter together

Tomorrow, according to the new style, the region will celebrate the bright day of the Resurrection of Christ. This year, baskets with Easter gifts will be consecrated in churches by Roman Catholics and Greek Catholics on the same date  . For Orthodox believers, Easter this year falls on the fifth of May.

It should be noted that this year many Zakarpattia communities, in particular in Perechyn district, switched to the celebration of Easter according to the new style. In the Turya-Remetiv community, Greek Catholics will also celebrate Easter with Roman Catholics tomorrow. Bishop Nil congratulated the Transcarpathians on this occasion.

Regardless of the changed dates of the celebration. Traditions remain. One of the unique Easter attributes in the baskets of believers is Easter and Shrovetide sheep. Butter lamb can be seen most often in the baskets of Roman Catholics. However, it is consecrated by both Greek Catholics and Orthodox believers.

The lamb is a symbol of sacrifice, the personification of Christ's Resurrection.

Recently, Easter lamb made of butter has traditionally flaunted in the Easter baskets of Transcarpathians. The Shrovetide sheep is one of the important symbols of Easter.

Previously, butter for the basket for consecration was prepared at home, whipping it by hand from natural cream, so the butter sheep was one hundred percent without chemicals. Now there is a wide selection of oils and spreads in stores. At the same time, as noted by Transcarpathian housewives, for butter lamb you should take the oil itself, not any other substitute for it.

Cooking lamb with butter isn't that easy for the first time. It is much easier to bake a sheep from dough in a special form. However, the butter lamb, the housewives say, is a real masterpiece in the Easter basket. Creating the image of a lamb with your own hands, you become like a sculptor at this moment.

For butter sheep, take one pack of oil. First of all, they make a base out of butter, knead it with your hands and form the silhouette of a lamb. When the base is ready, put it in the refrigerator to cool. Therefore, the frozen mass is taken out and carefully, with the help of a knife, they begin to tinker with the creation of an oil sheep, form the head of the lamb - nose, eyes and ears and all other details. All this must be done quickly so that the butter does not melt.

Lamb hair can be made with a simple knife, making neat stripes on the body of your masterpiece. For a lamb coat, you can also use a regular grater, rubbing the hardened oil on the lamb – then the wool of the butter lamb will look fluffier.

For the eyes of the lamb, black peppercorns are used from the oil. For the mouth – ground red pepper. The finished lamb is decorated with herbs and put in the refrigerator until the morning. Therefore, the butter sheep is placed on a special vessel in a basket for consecration, where there is already an Easter cake, a gourmet shovdar with sausage and other festive gifts.

Easter cake is baked in special silence and in a good mood

Easter cake is a symbol of the Kingdom of Heaven, the bread of eternal life. There are several of them, sometimes even for each family member, but always one large one for everyone. Easter cake is planted and taken out of the oven with a prayer. It is desirable that on this day there was perfect silence in the kitchen, because the Easter cake, which is baked in the noise, cracks. It should not be eaten until it is consecrated.

Ceremonial Easter bread used to be baked in special ovens. It could hold several Easter cakes at once. Now, with the advent of innovative technology, the work of housewives in this regard has become somewhat easier. At the same time, some people still cook Easter cakes in the same wood-fired ovens according to recipes from grandmothers.

For Easter, Transcarpathians bake large and small Easter cakes. Recently, they can be purchased in bakeries and shops, but a number of housewives prefer to bake Easter bread at home, with a special, high spirits, prayers and a pure heart. As the elder housewives note, it is necessary to knead Easter cake with pure thoughts, because the loaf of bread for the basket is the main symbol of Christ's Resurrection

The recipe for ceremonial pastries was shared by Mrs. Maria from Perechyn district:

"Before kneading the cake, I pray and ask that it turns out to be beautiful - it does not settle or crack, as I bake," says the housewife.
I knead the dough in a large bowl, previously dried on the stove. I add sugar, butter and eggs to the gently sifted flour. I dissolve the yeast in warm milk and pour it into a bowl, kneading well. The dough should be neither too thick nor liquid, because it will not turn sour," adds Ms. Maria. 
– I put the kneaded dough in a warm place for a while. Until then, I cook, steam in the oven molds for Easter cake. I coat the steamed molds with oil and begin to spread the sour dough on the bottom, flattening it evenly to the walls of the mold (I do this by eye). In the form, the dough is still souring, meanwhile, I form decorations for Easter cake from unleavened dough - traditionally it is a cross in the middle, flowers and spikelets near it, - the housewife notes.
– Before baking, the top of the cake should be greased with egg yolk. I bake in the oven at 180 degrees.
I take the finished cakes out of the molds and put them on a wooden stand to cool. I lubricate the top of the belts with water (I use goose feathers) and cover them with a towel.
The Easter basket goes with the most beautiful festive loaf, it is chosen by all family members.
Next to the Easter cake, we put homemade shovdar, gourmet sausage, butter, Easter eggs, boiled eggs, white cheese breast and yellow sweet breast, salt and wine in the basket. We do not put tangerines, bananas, chocolate eggs.

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

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