Greek Orthodox Easter ….

The text below is a “loan”!…Interesting to read and learn!

Easter 2017 is only a few days away, which for many people means chocolate, a long weekend and egg hunts.

This year, Easter is on Sunday, April 16, with Good Friday on April 14 and Easter bank holiday Monday on April 17.

But did you know there are actually two Easters?

Most people celebrate Easter on the dates recognised by the Western Christian world, which are based on the Gregorian calendar.

But Eastern Christianity celebrates Easter based on the old Julian calendar.

Otherwise known as Greek Easter or Orthodox Easter, the dates are sometimes the same as western Easter.

How it Greek Easter celebrated?

Preparations for Easter begin on Holy Thursday, when aster bread (tsoureki) is baked and eggs are coloured with red dye, with red is the colour of life and also symbolic of the blood of Christ.

Good Friday is treated as a day of mourning, and the most devote do not eat at all. Others will only eat simple foods.

Flowers are taken to church to decorate a representation of the body of Christ, which is carried in a procession during a Service of Lamentation.

Families prepare mayiritsa on Easter Saturday, which is a soup made from lamb (or goat kid) offal and tripe, cooked on the stove with onions and herbs (plus an egg and lemon sauce that’s mixed in at the end).

In the evening, people go to church with special white candles which are lit just before midnight as the Eternal Flame on the altar is passed around the congregation.

After midnight there are early morning prayer services and a communion to mark Easter Sunday.

Read more: Easter days out and things to do in Kent

Worshippers will then carry their flame home and use it to light other candles in the house. Families then gather around the table and break their fast with soup, bread and eggs.

A meal of roast lamb is made and households enjoy a feast of eating and drinking on Easter Sunday.

In Greece itself, the Eternal Flame arrives by military jet on Easter Saturday and is given to the priests to take to their local churches.

The whole country celebrates Easter at midnight with church bells, ships’ horns, floodlights and fireworks.

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