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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

04/24/1997

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Christians Anticipate 'Holiday of Holidays'

Though Easter banners, according to newly established tradition, are already hung over the streets of Moscow, Russian Orthodox Christians still face several important days of somber prayer and repentance before they can exclaim ""Christ is Risen!"" at midnight Saturday. These four days, Thursday through Sunday, are the holiest time of the year for Christians in Russia and the rest of the Orthodox world, a time during which the faithful re-experience Christ's betrayal, suffering, crucifixion, burial and resurrection. These days also bring to an end the eight-week fast, during which strictly observant Orthodox abstain from meat, fish and dairy products. While in Western countries Christmas is the biggest holiday of the year, in Russia it is Easter that is the ""Holiday of Holidays,"" as the Orthodox put it.

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