Celebrations in Russia: Orthodox Easter

Russian Orthodox Easter falls on April 16th this year, coincidentally the same day as Christian Easter. Since the Russian Orthodox Church follows the Julian calendar, Russian Orthodox Easter usually falls on a later date than it does in Western Christianity, which follows the Gregorian calendar. While the Russian Orthodox Easter and Christian Easter tend to be celebrated on different days, both are in celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  As most areas of the world, religous holidays are a day of celebration with family and friends. This blog helps readers learn a bit more about the celebrations in Russia for Orthodox Easter and reviews Yandex search queries related to the holiday to understand a bit more about their search behavior as it relates to a holiday.

Russian Orthodox Easter Traditions:

Beyond attending church services the day is commemorated by decorating eggs, a tradition also done in the West. Eggs are often dyed red and symbolize new life in the Orthodox religion. Orthodox Easter services are usually attended the Saturday evening, and go until 3 am. Many Russians break their Lenten fast after midnight following church services with Russian Easter bread, known as kulich. Following many other holidays in Russia, Easter is also celebrated with large family breakfast and dinner featuring many traditional Russian dishes. Many families exchange kulich and decorated eggs, but otherwise it is not a holiday of gift giving.

Easter cake and red eggs on rustic wooden table

Russian Orthodox Easter Yandex Search Queries:

The Russian Search Marketing team entered a series of keywords into Yandex.Wordstat tool to learn what searches were common and what they could tell us about what Russians are searching on Russian Orthodox Easter.  One important query used for this research, “пасха” (Easter) yields 4,887,781 impressions per month. The search is pretty evenly split on mobile devices and desktops. Yandex users usually start searching about Easter at the beginning of the new year, with peak searches in late April. Searches drop as the holiday got closer, which is usually the beginning of May.  The general query of course covers a range of other searches that include the keyword but for the most part users are just trying to figure out when to prepare for the day itself or read up on the religious background.  Users are also searching for Easter festivals and other celebrations going on in their area.

A lot of users are searching for “пасха 2017” (Easter), which has 1,702,412 displays per month. This search began to become popular before the New Year, and has been on a steady increase approaching the upcoming holiday. This specific search was done more on mobile devices than desktops, with 941,848 impressions per month.  We have grown used to relying on our search engines to help us plan our calendars. It’s much easier to ask your search engine or even personal assistant the answer to a question that can help you plan ahead.

As mentioned, this day is mainly a day a celebrations so it was no surprise to see that the term “купить пасхальный” (What to buy for Easter) yielded a low 12,130 monthly impressions. Unlike the celebrations for Western Christian Easter that often includes Easter baskets for children, small gifts are not common.

Happy Easter to those celebrating this weekend!