Orthodox Christians celebrate today their brightest holiday - Easter - the day on which the Son of God rose from the dead for eternal life.
A bell from the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and other churches around the country at midnight heralded the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and believers greeted each other with the words "Hristos Voskrese!" and "Voistina Voskrese!"
Orthodox Christians will send this greeting in the next 40 days - until Pentecost. The candles lit at the festive service are brought home to burn - so the new light is symbolically brought into the home.
The Resurrection of Christ embodies the basic Christian dogma - the belief in the resurrection of the righteous in a better world, which they will inherit after their earthly death and the future Last Judgment.
The holiday marks the end of the 40-day Lent.
According to the Gospel account, on the third day after the crucifixion of Christ, the myrrh-bearing women went to the tomb to anoint his body, but found that it was empty - Jesus had risen.
Later, Mary Magdalene went to Rome, appeared before Emperor Tiberius, and accused Pilate of Pontius of violating Roman law by condemning an innocent man.
She handed the emperor a red egg with the words "Christ has risen." From there began the existing tradition for the holiday to paint eggs. The characteristic Easter greeting also dates back to that time.
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