Friday, April 27, 2012

How do we celebrate Easter?



Easter lasts a fortnight; during it each family wants to be with their relatives and acquaintances, so they visit them in a distant place in order to celebrate together the resurrection of Jesus Christ.


Holy Week starts actually after the Palm Sunday. On that day we go to church where we are given palm leaves which are made in different shapes. In that way we honour the time when Jesus Christ enter Ierosolima and the faithful were applauding him throwing palm leaves. That’s why that day is called “Palm Sunday”. Moreover people who fast during Lent eat only fish dishes avoiding the dairy products and generally meat.


At Holy Week we follow some acts in order to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For instance, we spend time in a meadow picking flowers to make wreathes and decorate the epitaph with them. We also make traditional sweets and Easter cookies for approximately a whole day. Furthermore, in the Easter tradition, on Good Thursday we dye eggs in particularly red color. That symbolizes the blood that was poured from Jesus Christ when He was crucified. On Thursday evening, Christians got to church. The wreathes are collected and the priest leads the service and everyone mourns Christ’s crucifixion.


On Good Friday morning, people go to church again to kneel in front of the epitaph. The epitaph is decorated with flowers and looks stunning. Everyone pays their respects to Jesus Christ. In the evening, the priest leads the main service, as well. Now the epitaph is brought around the town with everyone following. In addition, that day people usually eat octopus and generally fish dishes.


On Good Saturday housewives stay at home and cook a traditional soup called magiritsa. At night, we all put on our best clothing and take candles with us to the church. (The tradition is the godmother or the godfather to give to their godchildren their candle.) Furthermore, many people’s candles have flowers and other ornaments on them. That day we celebrate Anastasi (Resurrection). The priest wears colorful clothing. Afterwards, everyone lights their candles and slowly the flame passes from person to person until everyone’s candle is burning. At midnight, Christ is resurrected. There are fireworks and fire crackers and there is a big celebration. We also burn Judas. After that, everyone goes home to eat the magiritsa and other delicacies. We also crack the red eggs exchanging Easter wishes. We all hug and kiss each other.


On Easter Sunday, in the morning, we get out to bed a little late because we are all tired from the night before. We gather and we eat lettuce salad and kokoretsi while we wait for the lamb to be roasted on a spit. We spend the rest of the day eating, drinking, dancing and listening to music. It’s a big celebration and everyone is radiant and we all have smiles on our faces.



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