Easter is celebrated after a 55 day period of fasting (Hudade or Abye Tsome). Orthodox Christians do not eat meat or dairy products for the entire 55 days. Vegetarian meals such as lentils, ground split peas, grains, fruit, and varieties of vegetable stew accompanied by injera and/or bread are all that is eaten duirng these days. The first meal of the day is taken after 3 PM during the fasting days, except Saturdays and Sundays, where a meal is allowed after the morning service.
On Easter eve people go to church and celebrate with candles which are lit during a colorful Easter mass service which begins at about 6 PM and ends at about 2 AM. Like the other festivals, Easter is colorfully celebrated at Axum and Lalibela. Everyone goes home to break the fast with chicken or lamb, slaughtered the previous night after 6:00 pm. Like Christmas, Easter is also a day of family reunion and an expression of good wishes with the exchange of gifts (i.e. lamb, goat or loaf of bread).