MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday wished Orthodox Christians and all citizens of Russia a happy Easter, as the country commemorated the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Kremlin’s press service said.
"The great holiday of Easter evokes the best feelings in the hearts of millions of believers, unites them around the everlasting spiritual values of Orthodoxy and the centuries-old historical and cultural traditions of our people," Putin said, as quoted by the press service.
The president also commended Patriarch Kirill on the holiday, noting his role as the head of the Russian Orthodox Church in the public life of the country. This year's Easter celebrations did not "bypass" Russian soldiers in Syria. On Easter Eve a festive mass took place in one of the Syrian makeshift temples close to the Russian airbase. This is the first time that a Russian Orthodox Church bell chimed on Syrian soil to celebrate Christ's resurrection.
Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter, the commemoration of Christ's resurrection, every spring.
Usually Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox, as established by the First Ecumenical Council in 325 A.D.
However, Catholics and Protestant denominations have slightly modified this practice, and usually celebrate Easter on a different Sunday. All Orthodox churches hold a candle-lit service on the night before Easter morning.