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Easter Cloze: Greek Orthodox Easter traditions Fill in the gaps below with a suitable word from the

box: Resurrection procession bier climax cruci"ixion candles renewal Palm #lame services God-parents d ed "ast exchanged observance "east customar !amentation

Easter is the most sacred ___________________ in the Greek Orthodox faith. Preparations and customs remain some of the most traditional in modern Greek life. Preparations for Easter come to a ___________________ toward the end of Hol !eek" between ___________________ #unda and Easter. Easter preparations begin on Hol $hursda when the traditional Easter bread" tsoureki" is baked" and eggs are ___________________ red %red is the color of life as well as a representation of the blood of &hrist'. From ancient times" the egg has been a s mbol of the ___________________ of life" and the message of the red eggs is (ictor o(er death. On Hol $hursda e(ening" church ___________________ include a s mbolic representation of the ___________________" and the period of mourning begins. )n man (illages women will sit in church throughout the night" in traditional mourning. $he holiest da of Hol !eek is Hol Frida . )t is a da of mourning" not of work %including cooking'. )t is also the onl da during the ear when the *i(ine +iturg is not read. Flags are hung at half,mast and church bells ring all da in a slow mournful tone. -an people do not cook on Hol Frida " but if the do" traditional foods are simple" perhaps boiled in water %no oil' and seasoned with (inegar. $raditionall " women and children take flowers to the church to decorate the Epitaphio %the s mbolic ___________________ of &hrist'. $he #er(ice of ___________________ mourns the death of &hrist and the bier" decorated la(ishl with flowers and bearing the image of &hrist" is carried on the shoulders of the faithful in a ___________________ through the communit to 1

the cemeter " and back. -embers of the congregation follow" carr ing ___________________. On Hol #aturda " the Eternal ___________________ is brought to Greece b militar .et" and is distributed to waiting Priests who carr it to their local churches. $he e(ent is alwa s tele(ised and if there/s a threat of bad weather or a dela " the entire countr agoni0es until the flame arri(es safel . On the morning of Hol #aturda " preparations begin for the next da 1s Easter ___________________. *ishes that can be prepared in ad(ance are made" and the traditional 2ma iritsa soup is prepared" which will be eaten after the midnight ser(ice" to break the ___________________. $he midnight #er(ice of the___________________ is an occasion attended b e(er one who is able" including children" each holding a white candle. #pecial candles made for Easter are called 2labatha3 and are often gi(en as gifts to children from their parents or ___________________. $hese candles can be la(ishl decorated with fa(orite children1s heroes or stor book characters. !hen the clock passes midnight" the Priest calls out 4&hristos 5nesti4 %&hrist is risen'" and passes the flame" the light of the 6esurrection" to those nearest him. $he flame is then passed from person to person" and it isn/t long before the church and court ard are filled with flickering candlelight. $he night air is filled with the singing of the 7 0antine &hant 4&hristos 5nesti"4 and the 4fili tis 5gapis4 %kiss of 5gape' and wishes are ___________________. 7efore the eggs are eaten" there/s a traditional challenge: 4tsougrisma.4 Holding our egg" ou tap the end against the end of our opponent/s egg" tr ing to crack it. )t/s a game en.o ed b children and adults alike. Eggs are often made in (er large 8uantities since the game continues on the next da with more friends and famil . 5t dawn on Easter #unda " the spits are set to work" and grills are fired up. $he main attraction of the da is whole roasted lamb to represent the 2

+amb of God. Great Greek wines" ou0o" and other drinks flow freel " and preparations for the meal turn into festi(e celebrations e(en before the eating begins. $hese high,spirited gatherings often last long into the night.