The most important Christian holiday for the Romanian people, also celebrated by the ethnic groups living in Transylvania, is the Resurrection of Jesus – Easter, the prior holiday being the Palm Sunday, and after the Whit Sunday. This year, Easter is celebrated at the same time by orthodox and catholic Christians, bringing the light at the same time from the Messiah Tomb in the Holy Land. All the Christians dye Easter eggs, keep the traditions of the Easter Lamb and everybody prepares to welcome the Resurrection of Jesus with Lent and faith.
Palm Sunday represents the revival of nature, symbol of the Christian spring. The country side still preserves the customs of girls putting basil under their pillow in the night of Palm Sunday, so that they will be as beautiful as the flowers and loved by boys. There is a habit that people pay attention to this day, since there is a tale saying that the weather on Easter will be the same as the one on Palm Sunday. Those who have monitored this day say that the tale comes true every time. At church, the priest gives away holy willow branches, which the Christians take home for protection against evil. The branches are kept near the icon throughout the year.
It is enough for one to watch the Easter ceremony in order to understand how solidary the nature is with the Christian mystery, the Crucifixion, with death, with Resurrection. The entire nature rises with the Resurrection of Jesus. The Easter egg, substitute of the primary divinity, is adorned by being dyed and decorated in the Holy Week. In order to play the role of a ritual substitute of the sacred character, the egg is chosen at the middle of the Holy Week, on Wednesday in the middle of the Lent, it is dyed in the Holy Thursday for being killed with a violent stroke to the head and sacramentally eaten in the Easter day. By this ritual scenario, the elderly used to think that time and space die and revive with the divinity.
The Easter Lamb is a symbol of purity and sacrifice. Christians eat on Easter different lamb dishes: lamb soup, lamb steak, lamb and spinach, lamb stew, and, of course, lamb haggis.
Both Romanian people and also Hungarians and Germans (Transylvanian Saxons), after going to church for the Easter service, they come back home and strike Easter eggs and eat the dishes especially cooked for the Easter festive dinner. Hungarians and Germans have a custom of going splashing on the second Easter day, a custom that has been also borrowed by Romanians living in Transylvania.