Radonitsa is a public holiday in Belarus that falls on the second Tuesday after Orthodox Easter. It is a time to remember, honour, and be joyful over the future resurrection of the dearly departed.
In ancient times, the Slavs, along with many other ancient peoples, were accustomed to visiting the graves of departed relatives in the spring. They would sit down and have a feast “with” them right there in the graveyard.
After their conversion to Christianity, Slav populations kept up the basic idea of this old tradition but made it part of the new holiday called “Radonitsa”, which means “day of rejoicing”.
On Radonitsa, many in Belarus will visit the graves of their ancestors and leave Easter eggs, candy, and other traditional foods there. They will sometimes also leave lit candles.
Originally, Radonitsa came on a Monday, but because those living in monasteries always fasted on Mondays in Slavic lands, the date was moved to the next Tuesday so priests and the like could also take part in the Radonitsa feasts.