Today has been my favorite holiday celebrated here in Moldova so far, hands down. People have been preparing for it for days – cleaning their homes, shopping, baking, and preparing food.
My host family tried to explain it to me throughout the week which had peaked my interest the more they shared with me about it. I heard about the early 4am wake up on Sunday morning where would go to the church and have our food blessed and see the church lit up with “luminaries” all around. I was told that I would eat a lot of delicious food and drink house wine throughout the day and take naps in between. It sounded like Thanksgiving and Christmas all put into one day. There was a lot of anticipation leading up to this day.
Yesterday, I had to make a quick 2 hour trip to Chisinau with my Technovation Challenge team for them to pitch their idea and get more feedback before they submit their project in less than two weeks. It was a tiring day doing the trip in one day, but I am grateful that the girls got to experience it and get some good feedback about presenting and their app idea.
We made it back to Balti before dinner so we could help at our homes with Easter preparations. Well, at least that is what happened at my apartment with my host family. I got home just in time to try to help with the Easter day preparations.
Final preparations were made and the basket of food for the morning was prepared to take to the church in the wee hours. At 11:00 pm I heard all the church bells near our apartment start ringing as some people made their way to the church to be there throughout the whole night for the church service and blessing of food.
You could feel the anticipation throughout the whole city of what was before us… all the cleaning, all the food preparation, all the plans made, all the traveling to visit family — all leading up to Easter day — to celebrate Christ had risen (Hristos a înviat).
More to come about Easter day celebrations! Coming up next…