The Greek Orthodox Easter, or Pascha, is a feast that commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from death. This is the crowning incident of a progressive series of events described as the Passion of Jesus. According to the New Testament’s description, the resurrection occurs three days after his burial following his crucifixion in Judea.
The Greek Easter is a movable celebration that normally falls one to three weeks later (and rarely at the same date) than the Easter feast observed by Western Christianity. This because the Eastern Orthodox Church follows the older Julian calendar for calculating dates of festivals with no fixed dates.
Pascha is a public holiday and probably the most prominent religious celebration for Greeks that is observed on an annual basis.
The Greek Orthodox Easter
The Greek Orthodox Easter is the biggest holiday of the year for them. In the eyes of the Greek Orthodox Church, it is an honor to commemorate the fact that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. The Greek people, they’re ready to celebrate.
After weeks of careful fasting and prayer, they’re eager to break the fast and finally eat foods that have been deprived of them. Since Easter is such an important holiday to the Greeks, there are many traditions that have developed because of it.
The Orthodox Christian date for Easter Sunday often occurs at a later date than the Easter date observed by many western churches. The day is also known as Pascha, Easter, and Easter Day.
Holy Week is something more than significant for Orthodox Christians. This week’s meditation invites people to prepare themselves to celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection. According to tradition, people try to abstain from meat and its byproducts at that time.
Countries that Observe the Orthodox Easter
Despite it being commonly called Greek Easter, this tradition is celebrated in other places apart from Greece. They are listed below;
- The Republic of Macedonia.
You can more details on the countries that celebrate orthodox Easter here.
When is the Greek Orthodox Easter?
The Greek Orthodox Easter of 2021 falls on Sunday, May 2 of 2021.
How the Greek Orthodox Easter is celebrated
Below are the steps on how the Orthodox Easter is been celebrated;
- The main date is Easter Sunday, or Easter Day, which is when Christ’s Resurrection took place.
- The fasting of Lent continues throughout Holy Week, which ends on Easter Sunday.
- In Greece, preparations begin on Holy Thursday. Easter bread (tsoureki) is baked and eggs are colored with red dye. Red is the color of life and also symbolic of the blood of Christ.
- Good Friday is a day of mourning. The most devout do not eat or cook at all, but if any cooking must be done, it’s only simple foods such as tahini soup.
- Flowers are taken to church to decorate a representation of the body of Christ, which is carried in a procession during a Service of Lamentation. You can get more details here.
Easter is a festive time in Greece, so join in on the local traditions. Be on the lookout for post-Mass fireworks in the cities. Sample the customary cuisine. And if you decide to attend a service, note that some churches require women to wear scarves over their hair. You can get more details about Greek Orthodox Easter here.
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