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Greek Easter Traditions

According to the Greek religious calendar, Easter is the most important festival of the Greeks, hence huge celebrations are marked to make the occasion more special. Ancient rituals are associated with Greek Easter traditions like during the Holy Week all the churches witness great gathering as many believe that this is the actual time to devote oneself in sacrosanct dwelling of mind and enliven the ‘Passion of Lord’. Greek Easter is invariably known as “Pascha” and the word is etymologically derived from the Jewish term “Pasah” which means “Passover”.
However, Easter according to Greek tradition means “Lambrí” or Brightness, as the day is associated with the resurrection of Christ. Traditions of Greek Easter are also based on many beliefs such as on March 1st, it is customary for mothers to adorn bracelets for their children made of red and white string tied onto the wrists of the children.
The bracelets are worn until the Midnight Mass is over. When the traditional bonfires are lit, the bracelets are removed and thrown into the fires. Traditional Greek Easter, however begins with the Apokries, before the season of Lent, during which three feasts are held known as ‘Protofoni’ or ‘First Voice’, Kreatini’ or ‘Meat Filled’ and Tirini’ or ‘Cheese Filled’. Through out this entire duration of Apokries, people pay visit to their neighbors, friends and close relatives.
Unique Greek Easter traditions are characterized by its sumptuous, mouth watering delicacies like ‘Tsoureki’, ‘Lambriotis’, ‘Magiritsa’, ‘Kokoretsi’, ‘Lamb Fricasse’ and ‘Oretiko’. However, various Greek Easter festive traditions are organized at different places of Greece, usually witnessed by huge public gathering. Thus, with such wide traditional festivities held at different ways, Greek Easter is a time of great jubilation.

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