Greek Carnival and Easter

Greek Carnival ©agnostos69/flickr

Greek Carnival ©agnostos69/flickr

Apokries is the two weeks of feast and it is the Greek Carnival. Starting from the Sunday, it is all about meat. They called it the Sunday of Meat Fare. There is also a ‘Clean Monday’ and in Greek, it is the Kathari Deutera. It starts the first day of the Saracosti or the Season of Lent when people are flying kites and families are usually at picnics. During the carnival, everyone is partying on the streets with costumes on. Bars are popular and crowded too. This is the time you can carry with you confetti and throwing at your friends and have fun. In the city of Patra, there are carnival parades, it is the drinking and dancing for the entire day and entire night. In Greek mythology, the god of wine and feast is Dionysus, so many think this is a custom passed down from the old festivities.

The ‘NO’

The NO is happening on the 28th of October and it is actually a feast. Why NO? That is because it is the day when the Greeks are celebrating the day when Metaxas said NO to the Italians who wanted to invade Greece. Everyone put out their Greek flag on their windows, schools organize marches and their students wore blue and white uniform while holding their flags too.

Easter

Greek Easter ©xetark/flickr

Greek Easter ©xetark/flickr

Easter is a major event for the Greeks when you compare it with Christmas. For the ladies, they are busy dying eggs in red while godparents bought new shoes, clothes and a candle. In Greece, it is also important to whitewash the exterior of the houses as well as the streets. Next is Epitaphio (Good Friday) is the day of mourning. Christ’s tomb are decorated with flowers. Besides it it is carry out of the Church and around the neighbourhood in the village heading to the cemetery. The slow procession continues with everyone lighting a candle for the dead, then they returned to the church. Part of the tradition is to kiss the image of Christ. The night of Megalo Savato or the Holy Saturday is when everyone is well dressed up for a church ceremony. Lights are turned off before midnight adn the priest light a candle (called the Eternal Flame) and the singing begins while the flame is passed on to light another person’s candle. You can hear Church bells ringing with fireworks blasting. Then the lamb’s entrails soup is eaten as part of the Ressurection Meal, Easter biscuits and Easter cake. Sunday is roasted lamb, wine and appetizers and dances to complete the night.

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