Paska (bread)

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Martiniouk Paska.JPG
Traditional Ukrainian Paska bread with a pysanka and willow switches
TypeSweet bread
Place of originEuropean / Eurasian countries with predominant Orthodox religion
Main ingredientsMilk, butter, eggs, sugar

Paska (Russian, Ukrainian: Пáска "Easter" or пасхальный хлеб, Easter bread, Georgian: პასკა "Easter", ultimately from Aramaic: פסחא‎ "Passover")[1] is a Ukrainian[2][3] Easter bread tradition and particularly spread in countries with predominant Eastern Orthodox religion or cultural connections to the ancient Byzantine Empire.[4] Paska breads are a traditional element in the easter holidays of Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, Belarus, Armenia, Romania, Moldova, Georgia and parts of Bulgaria as well as the Assyrian–Chaldean–Syriac diaspora. Due to its geographical closeness, it is also widespread in Slovakia. Meanwhile it is also eaten in countries with immigrant populations from Eastern Europe such as the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Etymology and Origins[edit]

Easter is called in Russian and Ukrainian languages па́ска (páska/Paskha).[5] The word is connected to ancient Greek word πάσκα (páska) and Georgian: პასკა (Easter), derived from the Orthodox believers in Byzantine Empire. The name is connected to the Jewish holiday of Pesach.[6]

Traditional ingredients[edit]

Paska is made with milk, butter, eggs, flour, and sugar, except in Romania, where the recipe most commonly includes sweet cream, cottage cheese, and/or sour cream along with eggs, sugar, raisins, and rum. An egg and water mixture is used as a glaze.

Christian symbolism[edit]

Paska bread kulich in Belgorod Oblast

The Christian faithful in many Eastern Christian countries eat this bread during Easter. Christian symbolism is associated with features of paska type breads. The inside of paska can be a swirl of yellow and white that is said to represent the resurrection of Jesus while the white represents the Holy Spirit. Other versions include chocolate, rice, or even savoury mixtures based on cheese. A version is made with maraschino cherries added to symbolize royal jewels in honor of the resurrection of Jesus.[7]

Eaten with other foods[edit]

Paska bread

Paska is eaten with "hrudka", also called syrek, a bland sweet custard similar to cheese made from separated eggs and milk and beets mixed with horseradish (chren/hrin) and kielbasa (in Polish) or kovbasa (in Ukrainian).

Assyrian Paska[edit]

In Iran and the diaspora, Assyrians will eat a Paska cake on Easter, Ida Gura. The tall cake is decorated with a cross on top to represent Calvary, the place of Jesus' crucifixion, and surrounded with colored eggs to symbolize the people who visited Jesus during his death and were at his cross.[citation needed]


Place of originRomania, Moldova
Main ingredientseggs, sour cream, fresh cheese, raisins, sugar

Pască is a traditional Romanian and Moldovan pastry.[8] Pască is composed with eggs, sour cream, fresh cheese like urdă, raisins and sugar, and is especially made for Easter. The word Pască come from Latin, Pascha, meaning Easter.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Артос: пасхальный хлеб". Православный журнал "Фома". 2018-04-14. Retrieved 2019-02-25.
  2. ^ Hudgins, Sharon (2018-05-15). T-Bone Whacks and Caviar Snacks: Cooking with Two Texans in Siberia and the Russian Far East. University of North Texas Press. ISBN 9781574417227.
  3. ^ "Ukrainian Easter Bread". Martha Stewart. 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  4. ^ Delfavero, Gina. "Orthodox traditions observed locally for Easter season". Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  5. ^ "Easter | translate English to Russian: Cambridge Dictionary". Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  6. ^ Connie,, Braun, (2017). Silentium : and other reflections on memory, sorrow, place, and the sacred. Janzen, Jean,. Eugene, Oregon: Resource Publications. p. 158. ISBN 9781532617928. OCLC 1020497898.
  7. ^ Joan Halmo Celebrating the church year with young children Liturgical Press, 1988 ISBN 978-0-8146-1580-5. 159 pages. page 43
  8. ^ definition of pască (in Romanian)

External links[edit]