Easter, Our Most Important Holiday
In preparation of the most joyous occasion that is Easter in Greek tradition, everything gets a sparkly spring cleaning under the sun’s golden rays, just a hop, a ski and a jump away from the gleaming sea. Local homes get a makeover, and gardens as well as sidewalks undergo the time-honoured tradition of being painted bright white. In Greece, painting the buildings white to reflect the harsh sunlight is a necessary and practical way to stay cool. One thing to note is that traditionally, walls were not painted with white paint, since white paint was fabricated and mass-produced all around the world only after 1905-1915. Instead, asbestos was used to produce an almost-white colour. It was also used as a cheap material for many other purposes, like painting tree trunks to kill pests, making the edges of pavements more visible, ornamenting small roads, etc. And this practice has since “stuck around”.
For Easter, farm-fresh eggs are painted red, and the aroma of freshly-baked, light and airy Easter brioches wafts gently under the noses of passers-by.
During Lent, holy liturgies and religious practices are celebrated with all due pomp and circumstance in all the villages of Trifylia. Visitors may join the procession of the Epitaphios of Christ in the streets. In Marathopoli, the Epitaphios procession takes place by the seaside, as local boats accompany the Bier of Chris with fireworks. Noteworthy is also the “blowing up of Judas”, a local custom held at the port of Marathopoli.
On Easter Sunday, Greeks love to celebrate by roasting a whole lamb on a spit in their garden, drinking wine, dancing and singing. Friends, relatives and visitors are welcome.