Easter is celebrated after 40 days of fasting, known as Lent. Every country celebrates Easter in their own traditional way. Similarly, in Greece Easter is known to be the most scared holiday. When it comes to celebrating Easter in Greece, they have a special way of doing it.
Greeks celebrate Easter in a very religious way by first attending the church service. There are many customs that are related with the celebration of Easter which is for fifty days. Most of the customs revolve around the church.
People make sure that they celebrate Easter with their friends and family members. During this time, people prepare all the traditional Greece recipes to make the occasion special. The main significance of this festival is exchanging Easter candles in Greece.
Apokreas is a Greece Carnival which is celebrated after 40 days of fasting. This marks the beginning of Easter. Apokreas is a very important Carnival for Greeks. During the last two weekends of the Carnival in Athens, people dress up in different colorful costumes and visit the Plaka. They throw confetti in the air and hit each other with squeaky plastic clubs. In Macedonia and Thrace, women dress in traditional clothes and they are known as ‘Lazarins’. These women go from village to village singing Easter songs.
A day before Easter Sunday which is a Saturday, Orthodox Patriarch of Greece visit the tomb of Christ in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem and break the seal. They then light a Holy fire. The flame is sent by Olympic Airways which is accompanied by government officials and a few high ranked priests. From there it is then received by an honor guard and taken to a small church of Agia Anargyroi in Plaka. It from here, that the light is spread to different churches in Attika and Greece.
On Saturday evening, people assemble in the church and carry unlit candles. During midnight the priest of the church announces the Resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ and that when people light their candles from the Holy Flame. This Holy Flame is taken from the nativity cave in Jerusalem. After the prayers and rituals are over, the priest blesses the food that has been carried by people to the church.
Once the mid-night resurrection service of the Greek Orthodox Church is over, people are served the resurrection soup known as ‘magiritsa’. On Easter Sunday, the main course is served on the table includes spit-roast lamb. In the morning the spit lamb is made in the courtyards and is known as “kokoretsi”. It is served with Christopsomo, which is a flat round loaf with a cross marked on it. It is also decorated with small Easter eggs that are red in color.
All these dishes fall under Greek Easter delicacy and are a must-have on every lunch or dinner tables. Easter in Greece is celebrated in a very traditional way. It is enjoyed by every person and is a very special occasion.