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Easter commemoration of the dead, or Radonitsa, in 2023 falls on April 25, Tuesday. In the Russian Orthodox Church, parental day is set so that Christians, after Easter, can share the joy of the resurrection of Christ with the departed.

What does Radonitsa mean

Commemoration of the dead, or parental day, an ancient tradition from pagan times. With the advent of Christianity, the custom to visit the churchyard was preserved, but the event acquired a pronounced religious character. The name Radonitsa, or Radunitsa, means an expression of joy at the resurrection of Christ along with deceased relatives.

It is customary not to express grief for the dead, but to share with them bright feelings, faith in the resurrection, overcoming death, continuing life. Another version of the interpretation connects the name of the holiday with the pagan goddess of the other world Rada.

Ancient ancestors came to cemeteries in spring to make fires to warm the souls of the dead. In the Orthodox tradition, commemorations are held in cemeteries.

The celebration of the Radonitsa is calculated annually according to the church calendar. In the tradition of the Eastern Slavs, it is held on the second week after Easter, on the ninth day. The first Easter week does not allow sadness, the next Fomino Sunday (RedGorka) is traditionally reserved for matchmaking, festivities; on Monday, the dead are not commemorated. Therefore, Tuesday has become a parental day, when you can come to your ancestors with Easter confidence, feel the unity of the family, the connection of times.

Commemoration dates

You can visit the graves of your ancestors not only on holidays. There are church-folk days of remembrance. In February, the Ecumenical Meat-Feast Saturday is coming, and in March 2023, the second, third, fourth parental Saturdays of Great Lent, preceding Radonitsa, are set aside.

You can express sorrow, honor the memory of friends and relatives on June Trinity and October Intercession Saturdays. In November, Dmitrievskaya, Mikhailovskaya memorial Saturdays are coming. Orthodox Christians these days hold a church commemoration, memorial meals at the graves, and later at home, in the circle of loved ones.


Believers start the day with a visit to the temple, where they attend funeral services, leave memorial notes. Christians read prayers, light candles. After visiting the church, they go to the cemeteries.

On the day of Radonitsa, it is customary to give alms, to distribute treats. When transferring gifts, you need to ask to remember the deceased, to name his name. The taker replies: “Kingdom of heaven.”

The tradition of leaving offerings has been preserved on the graves since pagan times. It was believed that food helps the souls of the departed ascend, awakens favor for the living. The main treat after Easter is painted eggs, which are eaten or left at the grave crosses. Sometimes the egg is crushedso that the birds pecking, acting as the defenders of the deceased before the Almighty. The church does not welcome commemoration at the graves, it calls for giving food to those in need. The main thing when visiting churchyards is bright memories, prayers, sharing the joy of continuing life.

Christians believe that on the feast of Radonitsa, the souls of the departed seek to return to where they were happy in life. Windows are opened in the houses, treats are placed on the tables, a separate device for the one who is commemorated on this day.

Dishes for Radonitsa

Funeral dinner is always prepared in advance, on the day of the holiday they only supplement the table with perishable dishes. There are no longer any bans on high-calorie foods after fasting, so housewives prepare hearty salads, sandwiches, baked meat, fish, and jelly.

The menu is based on a combination of Easter and memorial treats:

    • colored eggs;
    • kutya;
    • cakes with candied fruits, nuts, raisins;
    • curd Easter;
    • pancakes with cottage cheese, honey;
    • candy, cookies.

    Many people try to cook on Radonitsa those dishes that departed relatives loved in memory of them. Alcohol on the tables is not welcomed by the church, but a small amount of wine is allowed.

    Signs of the day

    Significant holidays have always awakened the faith of the Eastern Slavs in special signs.

    On Radonitsa, Christians tried to follow the rules so as not to anger the Almighty:

    • be sure to visit the graves of the dead, otherwise no one will remember after death;
    • do not touch a dayholiday land, do not carry out agricultural work, to avoid drought, crop failure;
    • come to the cemetery among the first - the dead will patronize and protect more;
    • do not cry, but bring bright feelings to those who cannot, as before, share Easter joy with loved ones.

    On Radonitsa, rain during the day was considered a good omen. Washing with heavenly water promised happiness for the whole year. But if it rained in the early morning, with gusts of wind, then they saw it as a bad sign - it means that they angered those whom they forgot to remember.

    The main thing on parental day is to remember with kind words those who left the world of the living. This is the greatest blessing for the dead. An invisible connection with them helps to strengthen the faith of the living, gain support and protection.

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