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Orthodox Easter: The Holy Fire descends and Belarusians gather in temples waiting for all-night vigil

Orthodox Christians (the majority of people in Belarus) are preparing to celebrate the glorious feast of Easter. This year it coincided with 1 May, Labor Day, although that Soviet holiday has lost its pathos and the red bow is unlikely to survive the competition with red Easter eggs. Our correspondent Alena Syrova felt the atmosphere in Orthodox churches these days.

Sincere smiles, bright sun and the smell of fresh Easter cakes: by tradition, Orthodox believers flock to temples on the eve of their main holiday.

Natalia Boikova:
On this bright day, we came to the church to consecrate bread and eggs. This is the first Easter for my little daughter!

Irina Serebrova:
It was cold, but now it's sunny. Isn't it God's grace? Everything is okay in our lives, in the country and thank God we are healthy. May God grant us all good health! This is such a great holiday!

Spirituality and sincerity are always there during these holiday days.

The President wished happy Easter to all Orthodox Christians of Belarus on April 30. Believers were coming to church from early morning with all family members. They try to celebrate the great holiday together with close friends.

Khmelnikov family:
On this holiday, we will try to turn away from domestic problems and become closer to our family, friends. We want to bring everyone joy, kindness, light and warmth!

Vladimir Dolgopolov, priest, cleric of the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Minsk:
I wish believers much love and care for their loved ones. After all, Easter is not an individual celebration and not only personal joy but the joy of every person around me.

On this day, Belarusians light candles and pray for health. With good thoughts and a sense of awe, parishioners are preparing for the main service, which, in essence, is the culmination of the celebration.

A special flight from Israel to Minsk will deliver one more symbol of the holiday - Holy Fire. Then the sanctuary will be transported to all the churches of the country.

Orthodox Easter: The Holy Fire descends and Belarusians gather in temples waiting for all-night vigil