When we think of Easter, we often think of church, family, and food. There is an excitement and wonder to the season, spending time with loved ones and creating new memories to share. We asked our readers what were their favorite Easter memories and they happily shared a few with The National Herald.
Cracking eggs topped the list with some sharing the fact that they preferred not to be the winner of the game because they would rather eat the egg. Also high on the list, following the Epitafio on Holy Friday. The solemn procession is an important tradition for most families who never miss it. The Proti Anastasi is another high point of many people’s memories of Easter-time and Holy Week. Though, one reader who asked to remain nameless noted that it can be tricky holding a lighted candle for so many hours. One young woman fainted when she held the candle too close under an umbrella one rainy night while waiting outdoors for the first Christos Anesti to be proclaimed. In the spring, rain can often dampen spirits during the season, but many people have shared their stories of preparedness, observing that a small lantern has helped them many times to carry the Holy Light home safely without worrying that it will go out due to rain or high winds. Young children are especially delighted to hold candles, but extra vigilance is required to prevent getting scorched. One reader shared a memory of having her hair slightly burnt thanks to her aunt not paying attention where she held her candle. Luckily, a quick swat put out the flame, but she did add that it might be wise not to use a great deal of hairspray or products containing alcohol when you are so close to a lit candle.
As far as food is concerned, there are many who look forward to the famous magiritsa, while others prefer chicken soup avgolemono and look forward to that every year upon returning home late at night or early in the morning as the case may be from church. When asked if they enjoyed mageritsa, one young reader made a face, while another more mature reader smiled and said it always reminded him of home, especially if it was made well. The souvla is another feature of Easter that cannot be overlooked and many Greeks pride themselves on their skill with roasting whole lambs or goats on Easter. If you listen carefully, you will hear your neighbors blasting Greek music relatively early on Easter Sunday as they set up the entire apparatus and then begin roasting the lamb in a festive atmosphere. If you are on good terms with your neighbors and hopefully you are as one reader observed, you are welcome to stop by and cut off a piece as an appetizer before the main feasting begins.
For the younger generation, Easter memories often also include Easter egg hunts, not a typically Greek tradition, but one that many have adopted as a fun way to keep the kids occupied while the food is being prepared. One variation a reader shared was using the colorful plastic eggs that open and hiding money inside instead of candy or in addition to other eggs with candy, but parents hiding the plastic eggs should be especially mindful of where they hide them so they can be easily retrieved if the kids miss one or two in the backyard. Also, if using real hard-boiled Easter eggs, it’s probably a good idea to only leave them out for an hour or two since they can spoil if the temperatures in your area are especially warm during Easter.