Celebrating Easter in a student dorm

Hi everyone! My name is Vlada Petrova. I am doing my Masters in Marketing at WU (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien). I have been living in Thomas Morus Heim since September 2021. In previous articles I told you about the traditions of celebrating Christmas in Austria and other countries around the world. Today I will open another veil of secrecy for you! Intrigued?

It's no secret that on April 9 and 10 this year the entire Catholic world celebrated the bright holiday of Easter. This is the most important Christian holiday of the year. In Austria, there are many traditions for celebrating Easter. 

#Easter traditions in Austria

Austrians dye eggs on Easter Eve and hide chocolate eggs that children and adults have to find on Sunday morning. But this is not everything: the main tradition is to go to church mass on the night from Saturday to Sunday, where an Easter fire is lit, a prayer is said and the opportunity is given to bless the food to be placed on the table on Sunday. By the way, traditional Easter dishes in Austria are Easter eggs, ham baked with a crispy crust in bread dough, lamb, striezel and chocolate sweets. On Easter Sunday, the whole family gathers around the table, exchanges gifts and celebrates Easter together. Interestingly, some of the customs of the celebration are typical only for certain provinces. For example, in Upper Austria, everything that has wheels is hidden for Easter.

(c) Vlada Petrova / Akademikerhilfe
(c) Vlada Petrova / Akademikerhilfe

#Easter at Thomas Morus Heim

And now to the secret that I’ve announced earlier! In fact, we also celebrate Catholic Easter in our dorm, despite the fact that most of the students who stay in the dorm for the Easter holidays are not Catholics. It is the case because Austrian universities arrange holidays of about 10 days during Easter and many students go home to celebrate this holiday with their families. But we do not lose heart and explore and get acquainted with the Austrian traditions of celebrating Easter all together. This year on Easter Sunday, each member of the dorm had a little surprise in the morning. We also dyed eggs, cracked them, and the winner received an Easter chocolate bunny. In addition, we tripled the hunt for chocolate eggs that were hidden throughout the dorm. Last year we baked Easter cake and other Easter pastries.

(c) Vlada Petrova / Akademikerhilfe
(c) Vlada Petrova / Akademikerhilfe

#Orthodox & Catholic Easter

Next Sunday, the Orthodox world is celebrating the feast of Easter. The main differences between Catholic and Orthodox Easter are the different dates for celebration and fasting in the Orthodox Church is a little longer and much stricter. Aside from that, the traditions of the celebration are very similar: Orthodox people also go to church mass, bless food, dye eggs and crack them. Eggs also symbolize resurrection and new life, just like in Catholic Easter. There are also some noticeable differences in traditional Easter dishes. Orthodox people all bake kulich (sweet round bread with candied fruits, sprinkled with white icing), while in the Catholic world there is no unified traditional pastry. Also, chocolate bunnies are not typical for the Orthodox world.

(c) Vlada Petrova / Akademikerhilfe
(c) Vlada Petrova / Akademikerhilfe.at 

This year we decided to continue the feast and to celebrate Orthodox Easter in our dormitory as well. We will dye and crack eggs. Come and celebrate with us! I hope you were able to feel the atmosphere of this feast and learn something new about the traditions of its celebration.

Lastly, I want to congratulate everyone on Easter! Peace be with you! May you and your families be healthy and happy!

(c) Akademikerhilfe / Ostern
(c) Akademikerhilfe