Saturday, 4 May 2013

Easter in Greece

Good Friday, Skopelos

Easter in Greece is a BIG thing. It's religion, family and Greekness all rolled into one.

This year the timing of the Orthodox Easter and Easter in the Western church have differed by almost a month so while Easter in much of the Christian world is largely a receding memory, here and in other Orthodox countries we are bang slap in the middle of it.

This blog is not intended to offer theological instruction and if it did it would be pretty useless instruction, but the events of yesterday, today and tomorrow (Easter Sunday) carry huge significance to many people in Greece.

On Skopelos, the evening of Good Friday sees the procession of four Epitaphios (I'm unsure of the plural) which are funeral biers. It is a solemn occasion, but I was surprised to find the arrival of each Epitaphio preceded by bangers. I was also surprised, and probably shouldn't have been, by the huge number of people  from the island who take part. Entire families including very young children walk behind the biers while carrying lighted candles. I'm not religious, certainly not in a way I can articulate, but I did find it all rather moving.

My rather poorly lit pictures show each of the Epitaphios.

I'm writing this on Saturday so tomorrow is Easter Sunday by which time those Greeks adhering to tradition will have eaten some lamb's intestine soup (yes, really). During Sunday itself families will gather and feast upon spit-roasted goat and lamb. As I said, I'm not offering theological instruction but I do know what's what when it comes to eating, which reminds wife is waiting for me so we can go out to dinner. Καλή όρεχη.

1 comment:

  1. The pics are rather evocative for sure - you feel Greece still has that strong traditional family thing that has been lost in so many places.


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