Today, Easter or the Resurrection of Christ is the main Christian holiday in the world. But until the V century, the event of the Resurrection of Christ was not united in a single tradition – each church established its own traditions and customs.
Currently, all Christians before Easter Sunday observe many days of fasting. This tradition has developed in the Lavra of the Savva the Sanctified in the first half of the 6th century. The main thing at this time is not just to abstain from food, but to cleanse oneself from evil desires and thoughts, to save the heart from vanity.
Greek holiday traditions
The pre-Easter charter for all Christians is the same, but each nation eventually formed its own traditions. So in Greece, Christ's Sunday is a national holiday, which is fixed at the state level. After Easter, the Greeks start the holidays - a whole week they do not go to work. But universities and schools do not work for two weeks - one before the holiday and one after.
Not all Greeks observe Great Lent, but Holy Week (Εβδομάδα των Παθών) requires the mandatory rejection of meat and fatty foods. Many during this week eat only bread and drink only water. Also, the whole week before Easter, the Greeks go to church every day.
In Holy Week from Monday to Thursday, you can take the communion. On Good Friday, the churches do not hold liturgy, life in the cities calms down, national flags are lowered. Muffled bells can be heard from the bell towers. In the morning the churches are read in the gospel, and in the evening the funeral processions begin with the Shroud. In different regions, their final may be the ritual burning of stuffed Judas.
Despite the fact that Friday in Holy Week is a day of grief, processions are accompanied by music. Separate groups of performers and whole choirs appear on the streets, professional orchestras also come out to perform musical compositions dedicated to the crucifixion of Christ.
The Greeks are diligently preparing for the holiday. On Tuesday, homemade food filled with orange flavors kuluraki. These cookies can be eaten on the remaining days before Easter, as it is lean. On Wednesday, women bring leaven to the temple for the priest to consecrate. On Thursday, they will make Easter cakes out of it: churek and lambrocullur is bread in the form of a pigtail with a cross in the middle. Traditionally, baking eggs are also painted. Previously, only red was chosen for them, but at the present time, any shades and even decor are acceptable.
At 11 pm on Saturday, the Greeks aspire to the temples, where worship begins. At 12 o'clock in the night, the exclamation “Christ is Risen!” Sounds and fireworks start all over the country. After the service, people go home and sit at the holiday table. It usually contains lamb, rice and green soup, cheese and green pies, meat rolls, and roast lamb. In many regions, in small settlements, meat is roasted on skewers all day long.