Another Easter

This week we Greeks are celebrating the orthodox Easter

Today is Easter Eve, or Holy Saturday, so one hour before midnight everybody goes to the church, each carrying an unlit candle (it’s called “lambada” and is often given as gift to children from their God-parents). These candles can be lavishly decorated with favorite children’s heroes or storybook characters and are only used for the Easter midnight service). The churches are crowded and it is not uncommon for many people to stay outside of the church. The mass can be heard from loudspeakers placed outside

Later during the mass, all lights in the church will be turned off and then the priest will exit the altar with a candle lit by the Holy Light. The Holy Light is transferred by plane from Jerusalem, where it appears in a miraculous way in the Holy Sepulchre (Tomb of Christ). The Holy Light is distributed by the priest to all people in and out of the church. If people can get back home without their flame going out it, is said they will have a good year

When all the candles are lit, a few minutes before midnight the priest exits the church and announces the resurrection of Christ (Christos Anesti): the congregation enters the streets chanting “Christ has risen” over and over giving each other the “kiss of love” while chanting “He has risen indeed”

 

 

Happy Easter for all, filled with hope, joy and warmth <3

 

 

 

 

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