Greek Easter Eggs & Easter Sunday

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traditional greek easter eggs

I’m not really familiar with all of the Greek Orthodox traditions, and even though I’m curious, sometimes things are lost in translation and explanation. But every year at Easter, it is a tradition to boil eggs with a red dye in the water to end up with red boiled eggs. This photo was taken quickly, so you can’t really see the leaf design that was also created during the process, on each egg.

It is of course, a miracle how these eggs ended up at the house in Nea Ionia. They were not boiled in this house, and of course, with the lockdown, its against the law to visit relatives for the sake of visiting – and these eggs were made in a relative’s house, some distance away. I cannot say for sure how they could have arrived here; just another “miracle” that seems to happen so often in Greece 😉

The tradition is that after midnight on the Saturday night before Easter Sunday (it’s officially Easter Sunday when the clock strikes midnight), you eat a large meal which can contain meat, the first meat eating that is “allowed” after the “big week.” Prior to Easter Sunday, many Orthodox believers go on a fast of no meat or dairy.

Just before the meal, you “smash” the eggs together with those you are with – not really a smash, but with a bit of force, hitting the others’ eggs with the tip end of your own. If the egg you are holding does not break, it’s said you should have good luck and health over the next year.

My egg cracked. So, we’ll see about that.

Another event takes place at about midnight as well – fire works are set off. Last night, I could hear fireworks from all directions, and non-stop for about 45 minutes. At first, we couldn’t see them so we went up on the roof – and while we did manage to see a few spectacular fireworks lighting up the sky, we could hear more than we could see. And when I write that it was non-stop, I am not exaggerating. It was the constant sounds of fireworks explosions as they were lit from the tops of roofs of buildings, apparently from churches, and who knows where else.

Today is Easter Sunday, and we’re hoping for another “miracle” to take place, which if it does, I’ll write about later 🙂

Happy Orthodox Easter! The tradition is to say to those you meet, “He is risen” while responding, “It is truth.” Personally, I have a hard time with that from my own philosophical point of view (replying with “It is truth…”) but it’s an important holiday in Greece, perhaps as much or more than Christmas.

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