For many international students, traditional holidays are an opportunity for them to travel back home and spend time with their families. Being away from home and the people they love can have a dire toll on their wellbeing especially when they must skip a religious occasion. Easter is the most important event in the Christian calendar. However, this year, Orthodox Easter falls during term time and unfortunately, many students have to celebrate it on campus…
Most of us are used to celebrating religious traditions, such as the resurrection of Jesus, at home with our families. What is more, certain traditions can only be done in the home countries of the students due to the historical changes which have affected national customs. However, when it comes to the Orthodox Easter, there are many ways in which you can celebrate it away from home.
Painting eggs with our siblings, cooking with our grandmothers and taking part in the liturgies with our families are some of the rituals which can never be skipped during Easter. However, this year, we have to celebrate the most important festival of the Christian year far away from our families, I am writing this blog post to give you some ideas to celebrate Easter at University.
First, you can always plan an Easter meal with your fellow Orthodox friends. You can easily replace the lamb with chicken, or if you are vegan, you can always opt for more eco-friendly replacements. There are many cooking apps online which give you the list of ingredients and explain every single step of the cooking process. BigOven and Yummly are two of the best apps which are available on the App Store and Play Store. Additionally, if you prefer more interactive content, there’s a large variety of cooking YouTube channels such as Byron Talbott’s and The Domestic Geek. However, do not limit yourself to cooking only the basics! You can always experiment and plan the most incredible and creative Easter meal your friends have ever had!
Third, if you want to take part in the night liturgy on Holy Saturday or the second Easter liturgy on Easter Sunday, all the Orthodox Churches can be found in Birmingham, just a few minutes away by train from Coventry or Leamington Spa. So gather up your friends and book the train tickets! It is always nice to meet other co-nationals and celebrate together religious traditions.
However, if you want to celebrate Easter in a non-traditional way, you can always go to brunch or to the park to get a well-deserved break. You can play games or just have a nice chat with your group of friends. Truth be told, we are all busy with assignments and revision so Easter is a great excuse to relax and enjoy Spring!
Lastly, don’t forget to call your family and friends from back home and greet them with the classic “Christ is Risen!”