My great grand mother used to say that “the sky is cloudy on Good Friday because it is mourning for Jesus.” My great granny was born towards the end of the 19th century. She had never been to school but knew the whole Synopsis, the book of church hymns, by heart. In fact she was holding the little but thick red book and would read and sing the holy hymns page by page. She was a simple and pious woman who died short before reaching 100 years old. As I child I remember that I always had to check whether the sky was cloudy on Good Friday. I cannot recall though if I also asked her about when the Good Friday was sunny – a normal thing should Easter fall end of April or beginning of May. Another belief was that the sky is cloudy on Good Friday until the Descent of Jesus from the Cross, which the Greek Orthodox Church performs around 12 o’ clock noon.
I suppose, after Jesus Descent, the sun may shine again, as the faithful anticipate the Resurrection.
When I recall the Easter days during my childhood, I have always a sunny Good Friday on my mind, with nature in full spring blooming, summing bees and sweet bird singing and the church bell ringing in regular intervals of 10-15 minutes in mourning until late in the evening.
The weather from Good Friday to Easter Sunday has always been important to Greeks, due to the Easter customs that include many outdoors activities: pay a visit to cemeteries and tribute to the deceased beloved one during the day and the Epitafios procession on Good Friday evening. Going to Church on Saturday midnight to celebrate Jesus Resurrection and bring the Holy Light to home. Roast the Easter lamb on spit over an open fire.
Not to mention that many Greeks travel to their villages over the Easter days or they simply go to the islands.
Of course, we need a good and dry weather to do all these.
This morning, on Good Friday, April 6th, I could not help but remember of my great grand mother and her religious explanation of cloudy Friday.
Just 13 degrees C, clouds all over Athens. The more we come close to noon -Descent from the Grave – the thicker the clouds become. And then here and there, some sun beams manage to go go through and remind me the great granny might has been not so wrong…
On the other hand, while the sky is mourning in Athens, it maybe in completely different mood in other regions of Greece, with bright sunshine and no sign of Jesus blues.
Whatever thee explanations… meteorologists forecast: Epitafios procession in rain and roasting lamb under shed.
Analytically, the weather forecast April 6-9, 2018:
Good Friday: rainfalls in the mainland, islands of the Ionian Sea and the Cyclades; rain- and thunderstorms at noon and afternoon. Temperature fall from North-West to South-West, locally down to 5° C. North-winds blowing with intensity of 6 and even 7 Beaufort in the open seas at night.
Good Saturday: Rainfalls in the Aegean, Thrace, Central and East Macedonia, Sterea and Peloponnese. Few rainstorms in south Aegean and Crete. Winds will reach 7 and 8 B.
Easter Sunday: Cloudiness in the biggest part of the country. Weak and local rainfalls in South and East Aegean Sea until early evening. Temperature without changes. North-winds up to 8B in the Aegean and up to 5B in the Ionian.
Easter Monday: Cloudiness most in the West, same temperatures, winds in the Aegean up to 6B.
Cloudiness and rain will continue for the next days.