Happy Easter from Lefkada
Easter (Pascha in Greek) is coming for both Catholic and Orthodox believers together with local traditions and habits. So, we would like to wish you a happy Easter from Lefkada by describing the local traditions. During the holy week the locals make sure that their houses are clean and tidy. After all, this is the time where all the members of the family meet each other again. Every evening during the Holy week they join the religious service of the church with reverence.
On Maundy Thursday the eggs are dyed red to represent Christ’s blood. In particular, they will eat these eggs at the dinner after the Christ’s Resurrection in the church on Holy Saturday. But before they eat them they will play the eggs cracking game (tsougrisma in Greek). They choose an egg and crack them wishing each other a happy Easter. The winner is the last one who has an intact egg in his hand. A religious habit that represents the resurrection from death.
Good Friday and the Philharmonic Band
On Good Friday the Christians mourn as it is the day that commemorates the Christ’s Passion. For this reason, the church bells ring all day slowly for Christ’s funeral. Early in the morning the local women decorate the Epitaph with beautiful flowers from their gardens. At night by 9 p.m. all the Epitaphs from all the churches meet in the main street moving in a slow mournful rhythm accompanied by requiem music played by Philharmonic Band of Lefkada.
Holy Saturday the Resurrection Day
In the morning as the bells ring for the First Resurrection the Philharmonic Band play marches in the main street and gives the signal to the housewives to throw clay pots from their balconies. An old Easter’s habit that is common to the Ionian islands as the smash of the clay pots symbolizes the breaking of the Holy week mourning. Just prior the midnight the locals go to the church with white candles to get from the priest the ‘Holy Light’ that comes by airplane to Athens from Jerusalem in the same evening.
At midnight the locals celebrate the Christ’s Resurrection by singing the Christos Anesti (means Christ has risen from death). At the same time the sky above the church is full of fireworks and people start kissing each other saying Christos Anesti and responding Alithos Anesti ( means Truly, He has risen). Back home they crack the red eggs and they have a light dinner with ‘Magiritsa’ a special soup made by lamb offal and herbs.
Easter Sunday – End of Fasting
Easter is the day for the whole family to enjoy and have a great lunch with roasted skewered lamb and kokoretsi (appetizer made by lamb intestines). Of course, all the members of the family drink ouzo or local wine and dance hearing folk music all day.
Finally, we wish you a happy Easter (Kalo Pascha in Greek) and may peace to conquer our world.
See you next summer in Lefkaseabnb for unforgettable beach vacations.