Trip Start Aug 15, 2003
Trip End May 01, 2009

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Greek Orthodox Easter - April 19, 2009

Monday of Lent is the preliminary for Greek Easter, and the majority of Greeks fast all this time until Easter.
Holy week is the peak of this celebration.
People go to church every day, and on Holy Thursday the tradition is to dye red eggs. Every Greek family prepares these eggs as part of the Easter Sunday Resurrection Table. Holy Friday is a mournful day.
Greeks mourn the death of Christ on the Cross with the symbolic decorated coffin carried through the streets by the faithful.
Holy Saturday is filled with anticipation of the religious celebration of Easter and the Resurrection. People begin to gather in the churches and squares in cities towns and villages by 11p.m. for the Easter services. Large white candles, are carried by just about all of the people.
At midnight the church bells toll as the priests announce (Christos Anesti...Christ is Risen!) Fireworks are set off, in some areas gunshots are fired and then each person in the crowd answers with the joyous responses of (Alithos Anesti - Truly He is risen).

Greek Easter - A Time for the Family

The people leave the churches and make their ways to their homes. The candles they carry are placed in each home and burn through the night to symbolize the Light returned to the world.
Celebrations continue with the cracking of eggs. Each person takes an egg and challengers attempt to crack each others' eggs. This symbolizes Christ breaking from the Tomb. The person whose egg lasts the longest is assured good luck for the rest of the year.
The main dish at the Easter Table is the lamp or goat (usually kid) the whole spiced lamb roasted over a charcoal fire is the most traditional of Greek Easter foods.
The Easter Sunday celebration lasts through the day while visits are made to family and friends and the Easter feast is shared with every guest.
Easter Monday is a much more relaxed day when everyone gets ready to return to work and school. The main work of Easter Monday is to finish the foods that were not eaten the day before!

Sunday of Easter and our outing!
We are spending this day with friends on a nice hill in Evia. The place is called Kalamos, and the view from the house is panoramic.
We arrived at about 11.15 am and our friends were expecting us. Our friend Martina has a German origin,
but she mostly feels like a Greek she says - she welcomes us with her German Traditional Costume though. Takis is responsible for the main dish, and every now and then he has to check out and see if the lamp is ready
We had a nice time up there with them and I took some photos of the panoramic view of the Aegean Sea. We returned home late in the afternoon.
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