Thursday, 13 April 2017

Red eggs on Thursday

Thursday is the day for dyeing red eggs.  We have dyed 60, ye gods and little fishes.  Most will be given away but it is still too many.  'But you never know who might pop in and they can't leave without an egg or two', says the traditional person.

I hard boiled the eggs last night and today they only have to be dipped in a pot of dye and left for three minutes. 

When  dry they are polished with a little olive oil on a cloth and gleam and glisten.

Like the koulourakia they won't be eaten till after the midnight Saturday church service.  

In the evening there is the very long service of the 12 Gospels.  After the service the women will stay till the early hours decorating the bier of Christ (the Epitaphio) with fresh flowers.  There is a lot of competition between churches as to which is the most beautiful.   The women gossip and bicker but it is a community effort.  The older women dictate and the younger ones string long garlands of flowers, listen, laugh and learn.

Quite often in the wee hours when the  work is finished groups of women will go off to the  nearby churches to check-out the other's handiworks.  My two girls used to go with their aunt and soon it will be the turn of my grandaughters.

Ferries out of Piraeus are full as the cities empty and anyone from an island returns to their island, their village, their family.

Buses coming into Athens are full, full of slaughtered lambs, tins of village feta, crates of Easter goodies, presents for the children, being sent down from the village family, to those that cannot leave the city.


  1. Maundy Thursday. This is my favourite Easter post so far and of interest the church decorations. At my convent school Holy Week was studied very closely and taken very seriously (as I wish Christmas could only be today). We had no commercialism then and we studied the resurrection and this puzzled me no end. I got into trouble for questionning it when I was 14 and had to attend sessions with one nun before classes ever day for two years. I told no one, not my parents or even my class mates. Interesting time. Thanks for your Easter posts.

    1. Thanks Rachel.your NUns sound like orthodox NUns here. I was told to repent and join the orthodox church as it is the only true religion and if I didn't I would probably go to hell.
      Two years morning lessons, that's a helluva lot of cramming stuff into your brain. I'm surprised you didn't become a nun after all that yourself.
      Tomorrow is the big evening parade of these biers. We usually go to the monastery because it is quiet but we'll go down town this year and join the multitudes so I can take some photos.
      So many people here. Unbelievable. Traffic jams everywhere

    2. I used to sit and not speak during these sessions. I think now it would be called elective mute. It had little or no impact on me and I would just wait for the sound of the bell and then run to class. But she was certainly telling me if I didn't repent I would go to hell.

    3. I was just thinking about you! Your preservation instinct kicked in!! At 14 you could have been ,oof can't think of the word, overpowered? By all that but sounds as though your rebellious age had started.
      Sorry. Late night brain spasm kicking in for me. Whatever, good reaction from you.

  2. For me it is also so interesting to read about your life and holidays in your beautiful island. I find so many things alike in our Jewish tradition here.

  3. I'm sure that the basics are very similar.
    On Saturday night the Holy Light will be lit in Jerusalem and carried to Greece by plane.

  4. I haven't dyed eggs for a few years now.
    They just don't get eaten and as it's autumn now the chooks are not laying as much as they were and I hate waste
    I also hate buying eggs so I won't buy some just to have them not be eating
    It's hard having Easter in the autumn but as you know down here we are backwards for all celebrations