Sunday, 1 May 2016
Easter Saturday continued
The lamb is tucked away in K's shed already to be turned on the spit above the red hot coals. One year we had it overnight in the bath, to the surprise of our guests! Imagine stumbling into the bathroom in the early hours and seeing a bloody eyeball watching you as you pee! Remember that R and J?
Back then we had to turn the spit by hand, a long tedious job.
Kokoretsi - the liver, heart, kidney and other tripe all nicely wrapped around with the goats innards. This will be BBQed on Sunday along with the lamb.
Two loaves of easter bread. Made with sourdough.
It is just about time for church again. I will be guarding the house while the others go to bring back the Eternal Light. An hours Nana nap while they are away will just about get me through the meal after midnight.
White candles are taken to church tonight and coloured candles (lambathes) for the children. The midnight mass starts around 11.30pm with most of the people standing outside socializing with friends and relatives. Just before midnight all the lights in the church are turned off and everyone waits with great anticipation for the priest to emerge with the Holy Light. The fire from his candle is passed from one person to another until it is a crowd of flickering lights. Hopefully it is not blowing.
At exactly midnight the priest appears outside the church to stand on a specially prepared platform and announces 'Christos Anesti' . Christ is risen. It is an occasion of great joy. Everyone kisses each other, church bells ring out and ships hoot their horns. It is also the custom to throw firecrackers and there are loud booms and the smell of gunpowder. Everyone either goes back inside the church or scarpers off home as quickly as possible to avoid being burnt by a rogue cracker.
When we lived on the island of Crete after Christ had Risen there was a bonfire on which was burnt an effigy of Judas.
The candle must be taken home without going out so it can make, three times, a black smoky cross above the doorway.
Now comes the meal with offal soup, fresh baked bread, red eggs which are cracked together to see who has the strongest. There will also be some feta cheese and lots of wine.
The Eternal Light is lit in Jerusalem by the Orthodox Patriarch in a ceremony many hundreds of years old. He appears holding 33 lit candles. This light is then brought to Greece by military jet and given the honours of a Head of State. It is taken throughout the country and by fast boat to all the churches on the greek islands.
What little girls prefer this year. A candle with Anna from 'Frozen'.