Easter in Albania

Albania celebrate “two Easters” Catholic and Orthodox, concretely the Catholics are celebrating Easter according to Gregorian calendar, while orthodox Easter are celebrated usually at least a week later than Catholic Easter, according to Julian calendar.

In Tirana you can find one of the largest orthodox churches in Balkan. Additionally the most famous church is “Kisha e Lacit” about one hour far from the Capital Tirana. Easter is celebrated mostly in two cities where the orthodox and catholic religion are more popular, Lezhe and Shkoder but not only, around all Albania there are families who celebrate Easter. Easter day is official holiday in the country of Albania beside the Muslim celebrations too 🙂

Catholic and Orthodox believers attend services throughout Holy Week, from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, despite usually going on different dates. Both faiths hold Holy Saturday vigils to welcome Resurrection Morning. Orthodox follow up the vigil with early-morning prayer and song services.

Both faiths decorate Easter eggs, the Orthodox dyeing many of their eggs red to symbolize the blood of Christ. Orthodox also eat a special Easter bread, drink brandy, and eat roast lamb for Easter dinner. In fact all Albanians prefer to take part in cultural or traditional events for Easter, because in our country Catholics, Orthodox, and Muslims often “borrow, mix, and match” religious feasts and practices in Albania. We are known for our religious tolerance and coexistence.

Happy Easter!

Fabjola D 🙂

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