Greek Orthodox Easter. It’s More Than A Religion

Greek Orthodox Easter. It’s More Than A Religion

As we embark upon Holy Week, I’d like to share this article written by Rita Wilson. Growing up Greek Orthodox in a world of non-Greeks, is something I can closely relate to.  This is why, to me, Greek Orthodox Easter is much more than just a religious celebration.

As children, Easter to us was more of a week-long event of customs and traditions rather than a religious celebration. We could sense it approaching when Yiayia began preparing her infamous koulourakia,  shaped in the form of a crocodile (for some reason, she found it more appealing than a bunny), and in its gigantic mouth, she would place a bright, ruby red coloured egg, with the most remarkably elegant leaf print on it.  We, her four grandchildren, had the important task of picking a leaf from our favourite tree for her to use on each egg, so that we could later be able to recognize the crocodile “we made”, when it came out of the oven.

As kids, we thought that’s what Easter was all about.  We got to wear our new clothes, which was usually our first new winter outfit of the season (In Australia, the seasons were flipped as we know), we went to Church very late in the evening, after being forced to take a much necessary nap, and every Easter Sunday, after receiving Holy Communion, the whole family celebrated at our favourite breakfast spot, “The Pancake Kitchen!”

My younger brother, my two cousins (whom I considered my other two siblings) and I, always assumed that our visit to the Pancake Kitchen, the appetizer before the elaborate Easter feast which was to follow, was a treat for being able to stick it out for a week without eating meat or drinking milk! Either way, we weren’t complaining and it still remains one of our fondest childhood memories.

As a teenager, we moved to Cyprus, where I experienced a different kind of Easter. It wasn’t the same. It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t the same.

Then, many years later, I moved to New York, once again celebrating Greek Orthodox Easter amongst non-Greeks, and I was reverted back to my childhood. This time, around as a young adult, I vividly recall my thoughts as if reliving them at this specific moment; “A sense of immense pride overwhelms me as I walk, with my head held high, my candle in my hand (wrapped in aluminium foil to avoid any wax leakage), among at least the 3 generations of Greeks who ended up here, in New York, as my Grandparents did there, in Australia, softly chanting the hymn, “Christos Anesti”, and filling the ‘foreign’ evening air with the scent and sound of the homeland”. Those were my thoughts then. They still are.

Easter to me is more than a religious celebration. Easter is the longevity of a nation within another nation,  the transmission of customs, beliefs and a sense of pride passed on from generation to generation,  allowing us to have a point of reference, a sense of identity and something extraordinary to pass on to a new generation of Greeks, whether living among Greeks,  or among non-Greeks.

Note: As a proud Cypriot who has lived half her life in the Diaspora, I can assure you that,  we are all Greek to them!

ΚΑΛΟ ΠΑΣΧΑ ΚΑΙ ΚΑΛΗ ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ

SHARE
Facebook
Facebook
Instagram
YouTube
Pinterest
Pinterest
Google+
Google+
http://preferablypure.com/index.php/2017/04/10/greek-orthodox-easter-its-more-than-a-religion/

Author

Related

Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Post Reply