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This year I got really excited about the Greek Easter! Not only because it is full of wonderful and unique Greek traditions but Easter Sunday also falls on the 1st May – so chances of alfresco dinning and long walks on the beach are pretty high!
This year my kids got really excited too! It is probably the first year they appreciate the festivities, and are at a good age to get involved in the traditions. Well maybe not the lamb-on-the-spit-roasting-including-the-head tradition, but the less gruesome ones. The Red egg tradition!
Traditionally, the Greek Red Easter Eggs are dyed on Holy Thursday. The red symbolizes the blood of Christ on the cross, while the egg itself represents the sealed tomb of Jesus from which he resurrected. Then, on Saturday after midnight, and on Easter Sunday, the cracking begins! You choose your egg and you crack yours with another ones, top-to-top and bottom-to-bottom. The person with their egg intact wins!
So we all put our aprons on this morning and got our hands dirty! And after 20mins (and a lot of stained kitchen towels) voila! 24 bright red hard-boiled eggs, ready to be cracked!
The game of cracking— or “tsougrisma” as the Greeks call it symbolizes the breaking open of the tomb and Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The custom takes place after the Resurrection (on Easter Saturday at midnight or the following day during the Easter feasts). Two people compete by holding their respective egg in their hand and tapping at each other’s egg. The goal is to crack the other player’s egg. The winner, then, uses the same end of the egg to tap the other, non cracked end of the opponent’s egg. The “winner” is the one, whose egg will crack the eggs of all the other players.
Next job: head to the fields and collect fresh flowers for our 1st of May wreath! …Or maybe head to the beach and collect some sea urchins for a different kind of wreath…?