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Sunday, 9 April 2017

Lazaros and Palm Sunday

This Saturday is the Feast of Lazaros. 

 I'm sure we all know the story of Christ raising Lazaros from the dead.  Greek Orthodox children used to make paper dolls and sing a song about Lazaros, in days gone by.  Fortunately we have a traditional person who remembers both the song and how to make the dolls and he passed on this tradition to his grandaughters today.




These are paper puppets, supposedly portraying Lazaros.  Their arms go up and down.  

The song goes:
Lazaros has arrived and so has Palm Sunday
The Sunday is today, the day we eat fish

With dozens of other verses which I do not intend to translate.

These traditions are largely forgotten but once while shopping in Nafplio on the Saturday of Lazaros we came across a group of school children carrying flowers and singing the Lazaros song.  In other parts of the country they make sweet bread shaped like a person, their arms crossed, with cloves for eyes.



Palm Sunday (Ton Vaiaon)

The last fish eating day of Lent.  Salt cod and garlic sauce might be on the menu but for us it will be 'riki' which is a tuna sort of fish, cooked on a roof tile with just a little lemon juice, oregano and just enough olive oil to stop it sticking.  K is out fishing at the moment so we may have some other sort of fish, probably cooked on the BBQ.

From tomorrow shop hours will be extended and the island will fill up with visitors for the easter holiday.  Schools are closed for 2 weeks.  There are church services very evening and many of those who haven't fasted during Lent will do so this week, called Holy Week.

Souvlaki shops now offer vegetarian alternatives, pita bread stuffed with tzatziki, fries, tomato, onion and maybe a chickpea rissole.  McDonalds used to have deep fried onion rings, spring rolls and a shrimp burger during Lent but I haven't eaten at McDonalds for years.









10 comments:

  1. It is good to see these traditions being celebrated in Geeece.
    Sadly in Egypt ISIL have attacked the Coptic church today, the beginning of Holy Week, and killed many.

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    1. Absolutely terrible. No where and no one is safe!

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  2. I am learning so much from reading your blog. Any biscuit is good with me, as long as it is made without butter.

    I would like the chickpea rissoles I am sure

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    1. These biscuits have oil in them. Chickpea rissoles are rather dry but as long as there is lots of salad they go down quite well. Healthy fast good!

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  3. Growing up in a country that's not an orthodox country we have missed out on a lot of the pre Easter traditions. We fasted and went to church but at school we were taught non denominational Christianity. So be just got the basics It's nice to learn about what the old country does.
    Sounds lovely

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    1. I'm sure they don't do half of this stuff in the big cities but around here everyone knows all these traditions and an amazing number of people actually follow it all. Poros is filling up with city slickers all getting back to their rustic roots and wanting to take part in these strange village customs. It's hard to keep up with it all but the old lady who lives on one side of us is very religious and she always give us a running commentary of her church activities.

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  4. You and your religious festivities; it's one non-stop party!!!

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    1. Ah Cro, I get tired just thinking about it all. You're going to get a fill of it too as easter week progresses and I give you an update every day! You might like to go off-grid for a few days!!

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  5. Your Greek traditions and food fascinates me. We often eat in McDonalds here in Ireland because its fast, cheap and very clean. I have been in a Ukranian Orthodox church in Warsaw (think I told you before) the priest sang the service with his back to the congregation and everybody stood up. We just stood at the back and admired the spectacle.

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    1. The priest often does have his back to the congregation, facing the altar. He'll turn around to wait the incense around and may only address everyone face first at the very end.
      It really is a spectacle. Some of the robes and their 'crowns' cost hundreds of thousands of euros.

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