Memorial Easter known as Paştele Blajinilor was celebrated this past weekend. One week after Easter, families go to the cemetery with food and wine to remember those who have passed away. They gather with friends and family to honor their loved ones. In the cemeteries there are a number of benches and small tables where people share food and wine with one another.
They may take flowers to decorate the grave-site, but they must be in even numbers. Individual arrangements are laid at each grave-site of colac (braided bread) and other items like candy or an egg. They also have additional bread arrangements where they exchange with others as they visit and share wine.
After decorating the graves, small cans of incense are lit and the priest with his attendants will come along to give a blessing. As the priest chants the blessing, he will pour a dash of wine alongside the grave. The family gives him money and an arrangement of bread which is placed into a large basket carried by one of the attendants. The priest will move along to each site until they all have been visited.
Afterwards they will eat and drink together at the cemetery and then continue the celebration at home.
I was not able to take part in Memorial Easter this year since my host family went to Ukraine for the holiday. But of course we celebrated when they returned home with all the leftover food and had a large meal (masa) together. 🙂