For Serbs in Norway, the spirit of Easter has already started spreading. Bergen Association of Serbs and Friends of Serbia organised workshops where kids were drawing and making Easter cards.
They have been also playing with bunnies and chocolate eggs as part of the Norwegian Easter tradition.
Egg, which symbolises new life, is central to the Serbian style celebration of Easter as well. Little Serbs in Norway are colouring eggs with their parents on Good Friday (April 14) and they keep them for Sunday’s game of ‘tucanje’, which involves cracking eggs against each other to see which one breaks first. The customs says that the first egg has to be painted red as it is called “cuvarkuca” (keeper of the house). This egg is to be kept until the following year.
Easter Sunday starts with bells ringing in churches throughout the country. This year, there will be a service in churches in Oslo, Kristiansand, Prosgrunn and Stavanger. Everyone is invited to bring food and booze so they can hang out together in the churchyard and play the game of ‘tucanje’. Serb believers in Bergen failed to find a church for service on Sunday and will thus celebrate it on Saturday.
According to Dobrila Radulovic, head of the Alliance of Serbian Associations in Norway, the Russian Orthodox Church in Bergen will have its doors open on Saturday evening with a midnight service for those who wish to welcome Easter this way. This church has a great cooperation with local Serbs.
In gratitude for the participation in the celebration of St. Sava, father Savo Rakita from the Orthodox Christian Church in Sremska Mitrovica has gifted the Bergen church with icon of Saint Sava. A famous Belgrade actress Kalina Kovacevic has handed it over in March while on tour in Norway.
Sunday afternoon is reserved for visiting friends and family. People greet themselves on Sunday with “Hristos Vaskrse”, meaning, “Christ is Risen” and then exchange coloured eggs. Dobrila will spend it with her family in a small town of Kopervik.
Since Easter comes after a long fast, the food has to be a bit more greasy on this occasion. So traditionally there are stuffed lamb, Serbian pies, cakes and eggs on the table.
Happy Easter or God Påske! J