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In Greece, Easter is one of the most important religious holidays, and it is celebrated with great enthusiasm and traditional customs. In 1991, Easter was celebrated on Sunday, April 7th.
On Holy Thursday, which fell on April 4th in 1991, the traditional “Last Supper” was held, and the holy icons and crosses in churches were decorated with flowers and candles. On Good Friday, April 5th in 1991, the “Epitaphios” procession took place, where the image of the dead Christ is carried around the streets on a decorated bier, followed by the faithful carrying candles.
On Holy Saturday, April 6th in 1991, the Resurrection Service was held in churches at midnight, and the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ began. After the service, people went home to break their Lenten fast with the traditional Magiritsa soup.
On Easter Sunday, April 7th in 1991, families gathered together for a feast, which typically included lamb roasted on a spit, red-dyed eggs, and various other traditional dishes. People also went to church to attend the Easter Liturgy and receive Holy Communion.
Some of the key traditions for Greek Easter / Pascha include:
  1. Holy Week Services: The week leading up to Easter Sunday is known as Holy Week, and it is marked by a series of religious services, including the “Last Supper” on Holy Thursday, the “Epitaphios” procession on Good Friday, and the Resurrection Service on Holy Saturday.
  2. Decorating with Flowers: Churches are decorated with flowers and candles, and many households also decorate their homes with flowers and red-dyed eggs.
  3. Fasting: Many Greeks fast during the forty days of Lent leading up to Easter Sunday, abstaining from meat, dairy, and other animal products.
  4. Magiritsa Soup: On Holy Saturday, after the Resurrection Service, families gather together to break their Lenten fast with Magiritsa soup, a traditional Greek soup made with lamb offal, herbs, and lemon juice.
  5. Red-Dyed Easter Eggs: Red-dyed eggs are a symbol of the Resurrection, with the red color representing the blood of Christ. During the Easter feast, families crack their eggs together in a game known as “tsougrisma.”
  6. Roasted Lamb: The Easter feast typically includes roasted lamb, which is often cooked on a spit and served with traditional side dishes such as tzatziki, Greek salad, and roasted potatoes.
  7. “Christos Anesti”: The traditional Easter greeting in Greece is “Christos Anesti” (Christ is risen), to which the response is “Alithos Anesti” (Truly, He is risen). This exchange takes place among family members, friends, and even strangers throughout the Easter season.
The Easter of 1991 we spent it together the whole family in the village, where we immersed ourselves in the traditional customs and celebrations of the holiday. We attended church services, decorated our home with flowers and red-dyed eggs, and enjoyed a feast of roasted lamb and other traditional dishes. It was a time for us to bond as a family, to enjoy quality time together, and to celebrate the joy of friendship and community. We shared laughter and good times, cherishing the moments that we spent with one another, and creating memories that would last a lifetime. It was a truly special and meaningful Easter that we will always treasure.
As a family, we have not been eating meat for the last 10 years because we love animals and we do not want them to suffer. Instead, we enjoy a variety of delicious vegetarian dishes during Easter and other holidays.
We still participate in the traditional customs and celebrations of the holiday, such as attending church services, decorating our home with flowers and red-dyed eggs, and spending quality time together. Our decision to not eat meat is a small way for us to make a positive impact on the world and to live our values of kindness and compassion.
We hope that others will join us in making choices that promote the well-being of animals and the planet, and we will continue to honor our vegetarian Easter traditions for many years to come.