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Fortællinger fra Kreta | 79

Tales from Crete | 79

Today is "Holy Friday" in Greece. It is completely the same as our "Good Friday" and the next days here in the Greek Easter, which is a week after ours, will bear a clear stamp of what Easter is really about, namely the crucifixion of Jesus, but most of all the resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Already on the evening of "Holy Friday" or Agia Paraskevi, as it is called in Greek, people gather at the churches to carry Jesus' body (purely symbolic) to the grave. On Sunday, it culminates in all the churches with a festive service that surpasses anything we know from here at home. All the country's churches are filled to bursting point with people who have all brought their own small candles, to get some of the holy fire, which the priest brings out a little after midnight (the night to Sunday), after which he announces to great jubilation that Jesus has now risen from the dead. How to maintain this tradition is difficult to see in a time of Corona, when we have to keep a meter distance from other people, because when I say that the churches are full to bursting point, it is not a lie. In fact, you stand so close, both inside and outside the churches, that you can feel the breath of the person behind you on the back of your neck, and if you step back just a foot's length, you step on the person behind's toes. Those who have been with Elena's Travels in Crete during the Greek Easter know what I'm talking about, just like others who have tried it themselves can nod in recognition.

It's not really that nice to stand so many people in a church so tightly packed, but at the same time it's a very special experience with the atmosphere that surpasses everything.

On Easter Sunday, Lent is over and it is celebrated with whole roast lamb in copious amounts, after you have not been allowed to eat meat for 40 days during Lent.

I myself should have been in Crete just now and had guests on their way there to participate in the Greek Easter celebrations. But unfortunately it couldn't be done this year, so it will have to wait until next year, because the holiday, i.e. the day itself, you don't move around like that, Corona or not.

I am very curious how to prevent the Greeks from going to church for the midnight service on Saturday night and receiving the holy fire just past midnight on Sunday. A tradition in the Greek Orthodox Church that is many times bigger and stronger than our Christmas services.

I wish you all a really nice sunny weekend.

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

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