Καλό Πάσχα, Happy Easter! It’s Orthodox Easter here this week which is the most important feast of all the Greek holidays. I’m still getting my head around many customs and rituals on my second Easter in Greece.
You already know about fasting through Lent because I spoke about that in my weekly updates from Tinos. I managed about three weeks of the near-vegan eating. But then I started getting stressed about how much time I was spending shopping and cooking, and I was finding the food really rich.
But Easter Sunday is the day when you finish the fast if you’ve gone the whole way.
It’s a day of lamb, and the fast is broken with a unique soup made from lamb (or sometimes goat) entrails. Greeks eat it when they get home with the Holy Light (see below). Today I was invited to lunch and I chose a vegetarian dish. But traditionally Greeks eat a lamb roasted outside on a spit.
On Good Friday, there’s the Epitafios tradition. It’s where an icon of Jesus is put in a bier (epitafios) ornately decorated with flowers and is paraded around the village.
Here in Thirasia they do this in Potamos, the next village over and throw flowers into the water as part of the procession. I intended to join in but I managed to get in a muddle with whether it was AM or PM . I thought I got the time wrong so turned back and missed it. D’oh.
I also managed to forget about the Holy Light that’s spread at midnight on Holy Saturday. (I didn’t do very well on the culture front this week, did I?!) But I didn’t forget for long because these days it’s quite a lively celebration.
Basically, to signify the Resurrection everyone takes an Easter candle and has it lit by the holy flame. (The flame comes to Greece from Jerusalem on a special plane.) At the same time, very loud fireworks are set off. I was burning the midnight oil and heard them and the bells from the next village over.
I went to bed soon after, but about an hour later, I woke up suddenly to the ringing bells of the church at the end of my path. The priest must have been making his way around the island’s churches, and he got here after 1am.
Now bear in mind, I’m staying in an abandoned village where the usual residents are me, 4+2 cats and a horse. So it took me a moment to realise why someone was ringing the bells. Anyway, the fireworks quickly followed, and I properly woke up so I guess I kind of got to be a part of it all in the end.
Look at the View!
In other news, my host paid for me to work from a hotel room earlier in the week to escape all the building work noise. It was in Manolas and overlooks one of the ports and over to Santorini. Gorgeous!
Change of Plans
I also made a last-minute change of plans to my travel. I’m no longer heading to Ios on Wednesday and have a new itinerary for the next fortnight so I’ll share that with you next week.
On the Blog
See you next week!
This page may contain affiliate links. Read through my privacy page for more information.