Skip to content
Ships to Europe in 3-6 days!
Ships to Europe in 3-6 days!
Fortællinger fra Kreta | 30

Tales from Crete | 30

Here in Denmark, we are usually very generous in wishing each other "Happy Easter" and use the expression both before and after Easter and of course during the Easter days. In Crete and in the rest of Greece, people are much more reserved in wishing each other "Kalo Pascha" as it is called in Greek. You only do that at one time of the year and only for one or two days. It is not considered good to say Happy Easter (Kalo Pascha) in the days leading up to Easter, i.e. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. You first wish each other a happy Easter on the night of Easter Sunday and only after the priests in all the country's churches, after an hour's mass on Saturday evening, go outside the church and loudly announce "Christos Anesti" (Christ is risen) to the large crowd waiting outside the churches. The holy fire in the church is extinguished and the priest brings it outside with him, so that everyone present can light their small candle to bring it home and protect his home and family, by drawing a cross on the entrance door with the candle, so that death can pass by and not affect the family in the coming year until next Easter.

Before heading home from church on Saturday midnight, everyone wishes each other "Hronia Polla" which directly translated means "many years (may you live for many years) which corresponds to our "Congratulations". Afterwards, a large bonfire is lit outside the church where Judas (the traitor) is symbolically burned, and the sky is illuminated by fireworks everywhere.

40 days of fasting are now over and it is time for the traditional Mageiritsa soup, which is only served this one night a year. It is cooked on the lamb's internal organs, liver, heart, lungs and other entrails mixed with an egg/lemon sauce.

Easter Sunday is the big family celebration, and it is virtually impossible to stay in some places without sensing the most delicious smell of grilled lamb. Everyone greets each other kindly and wishes Kalo Pascha or Hronia Polla, and everywhere in the streets, alleys and gardens you see men busy grilling the Easter lamb. You often see next to a small table with a little snack, several small glasses and a bottle of Tsipouro and it is not uncommon to be offered a glass of the wonderful drink. Easter Sunday is the culmination of Easter in both the Greek Orthodox and our church. It is here that the women find Christ's tomb empty and an angel announces that Christ has risen from the dead. and according to the Greek Orthodox Church, it is only here that you can wish each other congratulations or say Happy Easter, because in the day until then (Maundy Thursday and Good Friday) there is nothing to congratulate or reason to wish Happy Easter.

I am going on a trip to Crete again and celebrate the Greek Easter together with a group of guests from Elena's Group Travels, and I am really looking forward to it, because it is an unparalleled experience, full of symbols and traditions, and some of it you will could see more about here on the blog on Saturday 27 April, where I will send home some pictures and text, from some of what happens on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday (so the Greek Easter, which falls a week after ours). Until then, I will spend Easter at home and enjoy myself with the family and let the keyboard rest a bit. So you won't hear from me next week - it should be just in case some of you decide to come to Hem on Easter Saturday, April 20, when we will hold our own little "Greek Easter" in the store with grilled lamb and beer and van to everyone who comes by between 10 and 15, when we are open in the shop and again have a huge jar market of the handmade Greek jars outside at crazy bargain prices.

Have a good weekend, good week and good Easter (when it is Easter Sunday).

Tales from Crete | Elena's - The taste of Greece

Previous article Tales from Crete | 36

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields