Phil and I celebrated Easter in Ohrid, Macedonia this weekend. It was an especially wonderful experience because of the Orthodox Easter Eve tradition. We went to a candle lit service at an ancient Orthodox church at mid-night on Easter Eve. There were literally thousands of people gathering at the local churches. Truly a community event. Young, old, and everyone in between. We joined the crowd as they lit their candles, sang, and cracked their red eggs together as a symbol of new life. We walked back to our cute lake front, family-run motel amidst the mass of still-lit candles. Absolutely beautiful. An experience I don’t think we’ll ever forget.
Here’s a little article we found that convinced us to be part of this tradition in Ohrid…more photos to follow soon…
“Probably Ohrid never looks so mystical and charming as it does the night before Easter on the 23th of April this year, when thousands of people get together in the local churches at midnight for the ceremony of sacred communion waiting to be blessed by red wine and bread.
It is a custom that everybody lights a candle and walks with the candle back to one’s home. The candle must be burning all the time. All the streets of Ohrid are filled with thousands of people walking with burning candles and it looks like the entire city is in a kind of religious trance.
Definitely, it is worth being in Ohrid for Easter for this event!”