05 Apr HOLY WEEK AND EASTER
HOLY WEEK AND EASTER
On Good Friday, after the evening mass, you can follow the procession of the Epitaph in Eretria under the light of small lanterns along the way.
On Holy Saturday the mass celebrated for the Rising of Christ starts at about 11:00 pm. On 12 midnight the priest and the faithful around the church shout “Christos Anesti” –Christ is Risen- and light each others’ candle from the holy light brought from Jerusalem.
For your dinner on Holy Saturday (Greek have it after midnight).
“Easter” is the greatest holiday in the Orthodox Church. It is celebrated according to a prescribed set of rituals, beginning with Good Friday funeral processions, peaking with Resurrection service at midnight on Saturday and relaxing into a bucolic lamb-roasting party the next day. Epitaphios or funeral procession starts about 8 and everyone carries a bee wax candle and talks in whispers…
Midnight on Saturday is a magical moment. The churches are packed, the squares outside them brimming with expectant latecomers, each one clutching an unlit candle. At the first stroke the priest emerges from the darkened church with a lit candle and proclaims the eagerly awaited words, Chistos anesti (Christ has raised). As the flame moves from the priest taper through the congregation’s candles, rockets flash, firecrackers explode, and the church bells peal exultantly.
Traditionally, the midnight meal consists of red eggs, feta cheese and Magiritsa, a rich egg-lemon soup made of lamb innards, spiting onions and drill…
The lamb itself is eaten the following noon. Usually the men of each clan are responsible for the cooking: they skewer the lamb and sew up its belly, often stuffing it with thyme sprigs and halved lemon or two.
By nine or ten o’clock one man will be turning the lamb slowly!