Saturday, April 18, 2009

Good Friday

Orthodox Easter is often celebrated at a different time to Western Easter. This is because the Orthodox church retained the Julian calendar after the Gregorian calendar was introduced in Europe in 1582. This year, Easter in Greece, Cyprus, Russia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania etc. falls on 19th April. Accordingly, yesterday was Good Friday.

Good Friday is a day of mourning. In the morning, people attend church to help decorate a symbolic coffin with flowers, which is called the Epitaphios. This is carried around each town in a procession lamenting the death of Christ. People follow this procession singing hymns and holding lit candles.

Once the procession is over, the Epitaphios is placed inside the church.

People queue to pray and pay their respects one last time.

You may notice the sides of this Epitaphios bear no flowers. This is because people have pulled the flowers off and taken them home as they're considered to be blessed.

After the service and procession, we went for a walk around town, and took some photos of the decorations and shop windows. There were Easter eggs and ladybirds everywhere.

These are decorated Easter candles, which children (and sometimes adults) take to church on Saturday night for the midnight Easter service.

Godparents buy Easter candles for their godchildren, along with chocolate eggs, special Easter bread and shoes or clothes.

The is one of the funniest pictures I took. It's the window of a children's clothes shop, suitably decorated with a farm theme. One of the chickens must have tried to escape, but then discovered it couldn't fly...


Mediterranean kiwi said...

the easter lights look better than what we usually see for christmas. we dont have easter lights like the ones you've shown in your blog. nice stuff

alithos anesti to you, from crete

Tinsie said...

Do you not? Everything's very lit up over here - better than it was at Christmas.

Xronia polla - enjoy the day!

Betty C. said...

Happy Easter and enjoy your celebration! I love your festive.

Saretta said...

Interesting photos and commentary! I'm happy to be keeping you company in the Easter theme!

palmtreefanatic said...

wow! what a beautiful church!
neat traditions there with the Easter candles etc! thats a neat assortment!
All of your pictures were so nice!

Pam said...

Beautiful photos!

Kate said...

Everything looks so beautiful. I miss coming down for Easter. I really enjoy the service on Good Friday and Easter night. Very different from Athens. Hope you all had a great Easter. Χριστος Ανεστη και Χρονια Πολλα σε ολους σας. Με υγεια και χαρα.

Per Stromsjo said...

...or maybe it simply failed to get a permit from the control tower to take off? ;)

GMG said...

Hi Tinsie! Happy Easter (maybe a bit late...)! Lovely pictures. Where in Greece did you catch them?

You wouldn’t guess where Blogtrotter is on its last post... Enjoy and have a great week!

Shionge said...

Oh Wow!! Yes, it does look as if this is part of the Christmas Celebration, thanks for sharing Tinsie :D

ShadowFalcon said...

I never knew Easter could be such a big thing. Looks beautiful, I'm sure you enjoyed yourself.

I like the ladybirds too!

Tinsie said...

Thanks everyone for the comments. Glad you liked the photos :-)

@ Per Stromsjo: Τhat is also quite possible haha!

@ ShadowFalcon: Easter is *very* big in Greece, you have to see it to believe it. Much bigger than Xmas.

@ GMG: They were taken in a town called Tripoli which is in central Peloponnese. Have you been?