Thursday, 21 April 2011

Easter thoughts…

I’m not a religious person. I never was. However, in my culture religion and national identity go together. We are taught in school how Church managed to keep alive our national identity through the years of the Ottoman/Turks oppression. Most of our national celebrations are the same day as a big Christian celebration as well. It all goes together. I don’t know what’s going on now, but in my years ‘Orthodox Christianity’ is taught in schools. We got an hour of lectures on Christian celebrations, on the lives of the saints and on psalms in public school every week. You simply couldn’t avoid it.

The most celebrated holiday in Orthodoxy is ‘Easter’. It’s not Christmas and it’s not the 15th of August. Greeks go totally wild then. On Easter Sunday, there are huge gatherings of family and friends, most likely outdoors, and vast quantities of food are devoured with traditional Greek music on the radio. The feast lasts from dawn (to set the lamb spit or put the roast in the oven) till late in the evening when dancing follows the alcohol consumption. It is no wonder that that day has the biggest rate of heart attacks of stupid people eating to their death after following the Lent the previous days.

This year though I’m not going to Greece to celebrate Easter. The flight tickets were astronomical. I could more easily fly to any other destination of this part of the world than go to Greece. I could go to see any of you bloggers happily with less money (if I had any left). I am going to Greece the following weekend of the Royal wedding (don’t let me start on that) since it was my mother’s birthday present for me! She simply mentioned that she wouldn’t have it for me not to visit during the (extended) Easter period, so she bought me these tickets.

So, this weekend I’ll be all alone! JJ is doing his wild late work shifts which mean that he’ll be sleeping most of the day. My housemate is flying to central Europe with her sister and friends. Most of my Greek friends are already gone and the rest of the non-Greeks do not celebrate Easter anyway! I don’t really mind though, I'll have my fun.

I’ll try to go to Church on Friday and Saturday evening. It’s more of a custom than a need. I feel closer to my family and heritage doing that. The last time I think I went to Church was again on good Saturday last year. I completely avoid the busy central St. Sofia in Bayswater (a complete nightmare) and try to visit other smaller establishments elsewhere. On Saturday morning I’ll go grocery shopping and I’ll make myself a nice roast on Sunday. I’ll even try to dye some eggs today…



  1. Go see any of us bloggers you say? Hmmm.....

  2. Happy Happy!!!
    Random question - Do you give Easter baskets in Greece? Or is only the USA that makes every holiday so incredibly commercialized??

  3. Kalhi anastash na exeis, kai kalo taksidi gia thn epwmenh eydomada. Einai alh8eia oti ta eisitiria einai panakrhva - elega na paw pali sthn Ellada to Maio, alla twra me tetoies times apokleietai. Me poia etaireia taksideyeis;

  4. Xristos Anesti! How about a bowl of Mayiritsa? Haha! I remember coming back from church on Saturday night/Sunday morning and listening to my parents and grandparents slurp that down.

  5. I will go to 630AM Mass - and that is all. No dinner or fun here, alas.
    Oh well, I am trying to diet so perhaps it is all for the best.

  6. @Breenlantern Yes, I did say that... :-)

    @Cubby Happy Easter...

    @AJohnP Not really... We sometimes give 'tsoureki' which is a traditional home baked cake or dyed eggs in person when visiting friends or relatives.

  7. @Vilges_Suola Euxaristo. Me Aegean petao gia Thessaloniki meso Germanias. Den exo kai para polles epiloges mias kai den petao Athina...

    @Bobby Not really. Mayritsa is not my cup of tea... Did you have some?

    @Ur-Spo The early morning Mass I think is much better. You can't really be on a diet during Easter's celebrations... It's against the rules