Orthodox Easter Day in Jordan
Orthodox Easter Day, also known as "Pascha" or "Fiseh Al-Qiyama" in Arabic, is an important religious holiday in Jordan, celebrated by the Greek Orthodox Christian community. The date for Orthodox Easter Day varies each year, as it is based on the Julian calendar and the first full moon following the vernal equinox. This often results in a different date from the Western Christian Easter, which follows the Gregorian calendar.
Orthodox Easter Day has been celebrated in Jordan since the early days of Christianity, as the region was under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The holiday commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, an event that is considered the foundation of the Christian faith. The roots of Orthodox Easter in Jordan can be traced back to the Byzantine Empire, which ruled over the area for several centuries and played a significant role in the spread of Christianity throughout the Middle East.
National customs for Orthodox Easter Day in Jordan
In Jordan, Orthodox Easter Day is a public holiday, and many businesses and schools are closed to allow people to celebrate with their families. The celebrations begin on Palm Sunday, a week before Easter, when believers attend church services and receive palm fronds to commemorate Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
The week leading up to Orthodox Easter Day is known as Holy Week, and it is filled with various religious services and rituals. One of the most important services is the Good Friday procession, which reenacts the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The procession takes place in various cities across Jordan, with participants carrying crosses and icons while chanting hymns.
On Orthodox Easter Day itself, worshippers attend church services, and many families gather to enjoy a festive meal. Traditional Jordanian Easter dishes include roasted lamb, stuffed grape leaves, and various sweets, such as "maamoul," a date-filled cookie.
Local customs for Orthodox Easter Day in Jordan
In addition to national customs, there are some local traditions specific to certain regions in Jordan. For example, in the city of Madaba, which has a significant Greek Orthodox population, people take part in a unique ritual known as "Al-Buqay'a." This involves the priest tossing a piece of bread into a crowd of worshippers, symbolizing the breaking of the fast.
In the town of Fuheis, another area with a prominent Orthodox Christian community, a special Easter parade called "Al-Fawares" is held. During this parade, participants carry large wooden crosses and chant prayers, while others perform traditional dances and play music.
Orthodox Easter Day in Jordan is a significant religious celebration that reflects the deep historical roots of Christianity in the region. From national customs like festive meals and church services to local traditions like Al-Buqay'a and Al-Fawares, this holiday showcases the rich cultural diversity and strong faith of the Greek Orthodox community in Jordan.