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|Easter Traditions : Easter in Greece
Read on to know about Easter traditions and celebration in Greece.
Easter is the most sacred holiday of the Greek Orthodox Church which is
a part of the Eastern Orthodox Church. On Saturday before Easter Sunday,
the Orthodox Patriarch breaks the seal of the door of the tomb of Christ
in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem and emerges with the
The flame is then flown by Olympic Airways, accompanied by high-ranking
priests and government officials to Athens airport where it is met by an
honor guard to the small church of Agia Anargyroi in the Plaka. From
there the light is distributed to churches all over Attika and the rest
As the Saturday evening approaches, people congregate in the church
carrying with them unlit candles. At midnight the priest announces the
resurrection of Christ ("Christos anesti") and lets the people
light their candles of the Holy Flame taken from Christ's nativity cave
in Jerusalem. After the rituals, the priest blesses the food carried by
people to the church and these are served on Easter Sunday.
After the late-night resurrection service of the Greek Orthodox Church,
resurrection soup mageritsa is served. On Easter Sunday, spit-roast lamb
is the centerpiece of the table. In the early morning the spits will be
turning in the courtyards and as the lamb "kokoretsi" is
slowly cooked, and the aroma of the roasting lamb whets the appetite of
the hungry souls. Christopsomon, a round, flat loaf marked with a cross
and decorated with red Easter eggs, is another Greek Easter delicacy.
It begins with Apokreas, which is to Orthodox what Mardi Gras and
Carnival is to Catholics. In Athens the last two weekends of Apokreas
people dress up in costume and go to the Plaka, hitting each other with
plastic clubs that squeak, and throwing confetti. In Thrace and
Macedonia young women in traditional clothing called the Lazarins go
around the villages singing traditional Easter songs.