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Find out everything about traditions & customs during Easter in Attica Greece.
During Holy Week worshippers attend the Divine Liturgies and participate in the ecclesiastical rituals.
On Holy Thursday, women prepare and decorate red eggs in the morning and worshippers gather for the liturgy of the crucifixion in the evening.
On Good Friday, young girls decorate the Epitaph with flowers in the morning and the Divine Liturgy follows in the evening, with each parish organizing its own Epitaph procession for worshipers to attend.
The mood slowly shifts on Holy Saturday as the faithful prepare for the Resurrection. People gather at the church, with either simple white candles or decorated Easter candles, and listen to the liturgy of the Resurrection. At midnight, the church’s lights are turned off, symbolizing the passing of Christ into Hades.
As the priest chants the hymn “Come Receive the Light”, the crowd lights their candles with the Holy Light. The Greek traditional hymn “Christ Is Risen” follows and church-goers give each other “the kiss of love”, a traditional gesture of peace and goodwill.
Traditionally, in Attica Greece the younger people wait perched on nearby rooftops ready to light up the night with fireworks and firecrackers. When the celebration is ended, people carry the Holy Light to their homes to illuminate their families’ lives, often forming a cross with the candle’s flame at the front door of their houses. Holy Saturday also features a festive table set with red eggs and mageiritsa (a traditional Greek Easter soup with lamb giblets, egg, lemon sauce and herbs).
On Easter Sunday everybody is in festive mood. Family and friends celebrate with good food, dancing and, of course, wine! Any good Greek Easter meal includes roasted lamb or goat or lamb in the oven with potatoes, roasted lamb intestines, and traditional desserts, like custard filled pastry, donuts or baklava.
Easter has many names in Greek, but they all refer to the age-old message of hope and victory of life over death.