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Khristos anesti ~ Greek Easter

Please read Anastasi page first if you havent already. This is the Light of the World, then steps down and ignites the candle of the nearest worshipper, the light then passed from waiting candle to candle until all are lit and people repeat the traditional words , Khristos anesti (Christ is risen), with the reply given, 'Alithos anesti' (Truly he is risen). The people then carry the lit candles to their homes, sheltering them with their hands, should there be a breeze, with the belief that if they are still burning when they arrive home, good luck will come.

It is customary to make the sign of the cross with the burning flame on the lintel of the house, which remains visible all of the following year. The long fast is then broken with the traditional soup called mayeiritsa, made from lamb tripe, sill and lemon.

The lamb is spit roasted the next day for the Paschal feast. Friends rap their painted Easter eggs together, with good luck falling to the holder of the last uncracked egg. Festivities on this day can include music or not, with music and dance sometimes happening in the evening.

Though Greek Easter has been long known as a most moving ceremony, even for non-believers, and one which attracts many foreign visitors, it has been often spoiled in recent years by the excessive use of firecrackers, not only, as in former years, after the midnight mass is done and the candles lit , but during the entire course of the liturgy itself, and often right at the entrance to the church, so close to the gathered congregration that people standing just inside have actually been singed by them. Teenage boys are the usual bearers of these rather dangerous and deafening toys, and there seems to be nothing done by the church authorities to curtail their use (and abuse).