Easter & Festivities - Antique Russian icons



The Easter icon of Orthodoxy is the Anastasis, represented by the descent into hell.


The icon shows the moment of redemption: Christ, breaking the gates of Hades, draws Adam, Eve and all the righteous to him. As an icon of the main festival within the church year, the Anastasis is located in the iconostasis in the festive row directly above the king's door, in the case of holiday icons in the center.


In the Revelation of John (1: 17-18) it says: "I am the first and the last. I was dead and, behold, I live for ever and ever and have the keys to death and hell."


In the center of the icon is Jesus Christ standing on the broken gates of Hades, with his right hand pulling Adam up to him by the wrist, in the left a scroll, symbol of the sermon to the dead (1 Pet 3, 19). Behind Adam the kings David and Solomon, but also John the Baptist, caller in the desert and last of the prophets. Adam opposite Eve, who climbs up from the grave like him, and the forefathers, led by Moses, who carries the tablets of the law.

The passage from the Gospel of Matthew (Mt 28, 1-2) “. . . Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. Suddenly there was a tremendous earthquake, because an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, stepped to the tomb, rolled away the stone and sat on it "is painted in the lower corner. Opposite is the physical resurrection of Christ.

Around, the solemn festivals are represented on holiday icons:

  1. Birth of the Mother of God

  2. Presentation of the Mother of God

  3. The Holy Trinity (Old Testament)

  4. The Annunciation

  5. Birth of Christ

  6. Presentation at the Temple

  7. Baptism of Christ

  8. Entry into Jerusalem

  9. Transfiguration

  10. Ascension

  11. Dormition of the Mother of God

  12. The Exaltation of the Cross

The following festive days are shown on extended holiday icons:

  1. Awakening of Lazarus

  2. Beheading of John

  3. Mother of God Pokrov

  4. Ascension of Elias

Furthermore, the Passion and the 4 Evangelists can also be represented.