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Happy Greek Easter, Χρόνια Πολλά to KTG readers

As Greeks are getting ready to flock to the churches five minutes before Holy Saturday midnight, KTG wants to wish to all its readers Happy Easter and Hronia Polla! But also to make a short review of the Greek Easter customs.

I know that many of KGT readers are not Greek Orthodox but Catholics or Protestants who celebrated Jesus Resurrection last week. And I also know that there are readers who have another religion or are even Atheists, Agnostic.

I have often wondered about couples/families of mixed christian dogma, especially those who live in Greece, whether they celbrate both Easters. Therefore, I would appreciate you answer to the poll below:

When in Greece and not greek Orthodox...

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I believe that the thing about Greek Orthodox Easter are the many customs during the whole Holy Week, the Resurrection night and the Easter Sunday.

Many people return to their villages to reunite with their families or they just visit relatives and friends.

Many of these customs are linked to food and sweets preparations between church going, meeting friends and relatives and celebrate around a big table mostly all through the Easter day.

Then everybody goes home, throw him- or herself on a couch waiting for the third “resurrection”, the digestion. OK, I’m kidding…

Behind are left the hosts who have to clean up the mess. But that’s the price for a happy holiday.

With the exception of the church going, customs are slightly different in the several regions of Greece.

In some mountainous areas they don’t even wait for the Holy Fire at midnight, but they celebrate early Saturday evening.

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via @oreinokafeneio

In areas where permanent clergy is not appointed, a priest has to go to several villages and therefore it is common that Resurrection is celebrated in different times.

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via @peterparker

Common dinner after the Resurrection is, however, the traditional soup Mageiritsa, made of lamb liver and intestines, spring onions, lettuce and dill, a comfort food to break the 40-day Lent, dyed eggs and sweet Easter bread the tsoureki.

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Best Tsoureki so far on my TL just like my mother used to make them- via @totalverruckt

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See also in KTG: Greek Easter Eggs – symbolism in color and the cracking tradition

The next day is the ‘hell’ breaks out with lamb and kokoretsi that have to be on the charcoal fire early so that they can be ready for lunch.

Parallel to the religious aspect, the Greek Orthodox Easter is also an ode to cholesterol but who cares?

What matters is to be in peace with yourself, after all.

Kali Anastasi! Kalo Pasha! Hronia Polla! Happy Easter!

More Greek Easter wishes here on KTG

PS worth noting is also the arguments that break between family members and relatives on issues such as ‘in which church we go for the Holy Fire’, ‘where in the garden we set up the fire for the lamb’, ‘should a cut lemon be placed in the lamb’s belly’ or ‘why you put mayo-dressing in the salad’. Never let these arguments bother you. We are just Greeks…

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3 comments

  1. I hope you got your candle home safely, KTG, it means a lot. Kali Anastasi! Kalo Pasha and Xronia Polla to you too!

  2. I love the fact that the majority of the fireworks let off after the resurrection are mostly bangers and there appears to be no Greek words for “Health and Safety”. Takes me back to my youth. On Crete they are supplemented with firing of guns and throwing gas cylinders onto the bonfire. Total anarchy. Wonderful.

    I love food so what it not to like about Pascha? You may also get the entertainment of watching an ancient, tiny Yiayia physically fighting with her much larger son to get the head of the lamb and winning.

    A couple of Tsikoudias to top off the afternoon will guarantee that you won’t have any problem sleeping off the excess.

    PS The word “couple” is often associated with the number 2 but in this context can cover a wide range of numbers.

  3. Happy Easter to KTG and all your rendersi!