The egg is a vital part of the celebrations here for it is dyed red to represent the blood of Christ (Kokkino Auga), the egg itself represents rebirth as it’s the continuation of the chickens life but also it gives you vital nutrients that you have been missing out on while you have been fasting (Sarakosti-a shortened form of 40 days). Tsougrisma – The cracking of the egg represents the emergence of Jesus Christ from the tomb that he was sealed in when he died. It also shows that one champion always emerges from the struggles of many. I like the highly symbolic nature of the traditions here. They have lost there meaning in the UK. Who for instance knows why we roll eggs down a hill?
The other tradition here is the breaking of pots to stop death from re-entering the house. It’s why the Greeks break plates at celebrations too. It’s a way of casting out the evil that is around like carrying the eye to prevent bad things from happening to you. You can also have the eye (mati or matia for 2) on stones that you place on each floor to bring you luck. There are a lot of superstitions in Greece as you can expect. Also there are the kolumboi – worry beads which are bracelets that are commonly worn and playing with the beads helps to ease your troubled mind.
There are many wishes too that are said on the different days depending on the progress of Jesus but these are not quite so prevalent this year. There is good resurrection – Kalo Anesti, Christos Anesti – Christ has risen and Alithos Anesti – truly his has. You can always say Kronia Polla – many happy returns/years for every occasion.
Soon we will have the Mayday celebrations (first of May) when they all go camping. Also you get to say Kalo Mina – happy (new) month, Kalo enthomanda – happy (new) week and Kali spera – happy (new) day. Not forgetting that the weekend just gone would be Kalo sabbatokriaki – happy weekend or if you doing text speak happy SK. ( literally Saturday/Sunday). Depending on when Easter fell you might also come across Kalo Anoixe – happy spring as that’s to welcome in the season. It’s also the word for open as the world is opening itself for life to resume once more. Although this is mainly a March wish you can get early Easter’s. While we are on the subject of wishes I may as well complete the set by saying you can say Kalo Martias – Happy March or Kalo Aprilias – Happy April but these are less commonly seen and heard as there specific.
It’s odd Easter continues until the Monday, they go back to work on Tuesday and then Wednesday there off again as it’s a bank holiday. They always celebrate on the day here not like in the UK where it’s always the Monday.
The one thing that was done in the UK but not here is the wearing of the Easter bonnet. It’s certainly too hot here at the minute but some years it can be quite cold so it would be suitable weather wise.
Na’ste Kala kai Kalo Pascha. (Be Well and Happy Easter. )