Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter candles

One of the most imporant traditions of Greek Easter is the Easter candle, a decorated candle that children (and sometimes adults) take to church on Saturday night for the midnight Easter service. The candle is lit just after midnight once the priest announces that "Christ has risen". It is traditional for godparents to buy Easter candles for their godchildren, along with special Easter bread and shoes or clothes.

Today my goddaughter and I went shopping for her candle. After looking at way too many Easter candle displays and arguing over a Hello Kitty candle that came with a cushion, a hula hoop and a dizzying price tag, we chose a more moderate fuschia candle with a necklace wrapped round it, which she will be able to wear after Easter. When you're 9, fuschia pink and sparkly bits are a winning combination, even if your heart's set on a HK Easter box.

We also bought tsoureki, a rich brioche-like bread traditionally eaten at Easter. Tsourekis are decorated with eggs, dyed crimson to remind us of the blood shed by Christ. Note the matching nail polish.

New trainers completed the gift pack. We chose a pair with fuschia pink and silver straps to match the Easter candle.

Afterwards, we stopped at a cafe for refreshments and a well-earned rest.

Luckily it was warm enough to enjoy cold drinks al fresco. Some of us even pretended they were on a lounger.


palmtreefanatic said...

such neat Easter Candles!

Tinsie said...

I love them. Easter candles make me smile :-)

Karen said...

You are a fine godmother, Tinsie! I would have drawn the line at the Hello Kitty nonsense, too. :)

Thanks for this post. I've read it about five times now. I just love the idea of the priests saying "He is risen!" and lighting the candles. It takes my breath away.

One more tradition here (in most churches I have attended, but surely not all) is that the pastor/priest says "He is risen" and the congregation joyfully shouts, "He is risen indeed!" I love it and I wish we did it at midnight, with candles.

Do the colors in the church change for Easter morning?

Tinsie said...

Thank you, it's nice of you to say :-) Being a godmother is very important to me, and I try my best.

In Greece we also say "He is risen indeed" in reply to "He is risen", not just in church, but also to each other. For 40 days after Easter, every time we meet someone for the first time, instead of saying hello we say "He is risen" and they reply "He is risen indeed".

The colours change to white and red on Saturday morning, which makes a big difference after days of gloomy blacks and purples.

Anonymous said...

xaxaxa tinaki ego den vlepo kafedaki "frapa" ellinon "frapa" vlepo.....ayta einai aralikia!