Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter ~ Here and There

“For those of you who celebrate, Happy Easter and Happy Passover,”
-- from our Facebook feed
 
As Easter Sunday has progressed, other similarly softened social media greetings have been received. How odd they seem, I remarked to The Scout. “Why haven’t I noticed those politically-correct softened greetings before?”

DSCF2982We are ‘here’ this Easter holiday; the Pacific Northwest corner of the United States.

It is the first time in three years that we’ve been ‘here’ and not ‘there’ in Greece for this sacred springtime celebration.  That’s probably why I’d not noticed.

Our Easter celebration tradition has been to be on Crete’s southern coast in the small village of Loutro, – a place where internet can be sporadic so we didn’t see those Easter postings – and where, just like the rest of Greece, Easter is a really big deal. Really. Big Deal.

Wishes of ‘Happy Easter’ there ring out  with gusto and conviction.







That’s the kind of thing you notice when you see holidays from the perspective of ‘here’ and ‘there’. On the flip side, we were in Greece for Christmas and were surprised at how December 25th pales in comparison to their January’s Three Kings Day, which pretty much goes unnoticed in our U.S. part of the world. And how it comes nowhere near the holiday hoopla that takes place in the U.S.

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Loutro, Crete - Easter Saturday 2014

'Here’ the clerk at the local convenience store said Saturday had been ‘nuts’ with parents buying last minute chocolate candies and goodies for Easter baskets.  Saturdays before Easter in Loutro were been pretty laid back as families start gathering early in the day so they can attend church that night, watch the ‘burning of Judas’ and then head to the tavernas that line the waterfront. There they will feast on those slow-roasting lambs that have tantalized passersby all day. Feasting will last until midnight or later.

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Easter lamb roasting at a Loutro, Crete tavern 2014
In recent years the celebration of ‘our’ Easter has fallen on the same day as the Greek Orthodox celebration. This year Greece will be celebrating ‘their’ Easter next Sunday, a week later than ‘ours’. Next Sunday though we will be in Bangkok, Thailand preparing for that cruise we’ll be starting the following week. While we will miss Easter in Loutro we will get to celebrate the Thai Songkran (New Year) that spans two days, April 13 – 15.

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Loutro Crete - Church candles
‘Here’ and ‘there’.  It’s a good way to live. It enriches the celebrations. It changes the perspectives.

PicMonkey Collage
 
Happy Easter!
Happy Passover!
Happy Songkran!
Happy Springtime!
Safe Travels and Lovely Journeys to you all!
And, as always, thanks so much for stopping by~~
 
We are linking up this week with:
 
Travel Photo Thursday – Budget Traveler’s Sandbox  
Our World Tuesday
Travel Inspiration – Reflections En Route 
Mosaic Monday – Lavender Cottage Gardening

36 comments:

  1. The contrasts are staggering! Somehow I think we've got it all wrong "Here" with all the commercialism for our holidays.

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    1. That's been my thoughts after seeing them celebrated elsewhere. We are so much more commercialized that it is almost frightening but I guess it gets down to what you are used to and how you want to celebrate (next year we hope to be in Greece again for Easter ;-) ) Hope you had a good celebration weekend!!

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  2. Jackie, your descriptions are always perfection, regarding life 'here', perhaps because you have so often participated in the preparations leading up to the celebrations, which have enabled you to really understand the meaning behind the still practiced traditions. Last year, as you may remember, I was 'there', for Easter, in my hometown of Toronto, and although I was blessed to have spent it with family, and especially, my daughter, my parents, my siblings and their families, it just didn't feel the same. Driving twenty minutes to a church on a busy main street, surrounded by convenience stores and warehouses, to bring home the Holy Light, instead of walking 5 minutes past pristine patios, and the heavenly scent of orange blossoms accompanying us to the square, where the entire village had gathered, anxiously anticipating the light of hope and rebirth, well, it just wasn't the same.

    Happy Holidays, my friend, wherever your here and there may find you!

    Hugs,
    Poppy

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    1. Poppy, I did think of you as I wrote this post because I remembered you had been in Toronto and wondered how you had viewed the celebrations. I fear we've 'lost it' in the U.S.; it being that sense of community and togetherness that we see so vividly in Greece. Friends here are quick (when talking about our house purchase 'there') to point out, "Greece has it problems right now doesn't it?" and I always snap back, "We could learn a lot from Greece both in dealing with its problems and in daily living." (We can hardly wait to get back 'there' . . .and now it is only a matter of weeks!!)

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  3. And I love what you said : "It’s a good way to live. It enriches the celebrations. It changes the perspectives."
    Happy Holidays! Paste Fericit! Happy Easter!

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    1. Thanks so much, Alexa, for the lovely comment. And Happy Monday to you!!

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  4. Wish you Happy Easter. Nice to see you having a great time.

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    1. Thanks much for the good wishes Rajesh! See you soon at our linkups!

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  5. I often think of some of the Easters I have spent in other countries and compare them to 'here' (Australia). I love the local processions where everyone flocks to the streets to join in and the large family lunches that take over restaurants on Easter Sunday. It's far more meaningful than the Easter egg buying frenzy that you mention which occurs in Australia too.

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    1. Yes, the 'meaning' is lost to the celebration these days in the US, Jenny. Rather sad, but I guess that is another reason why we travel as we do: trying to find those old traditions!

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  6. I'll start by saying thanks for the sweet comments on my latest post.

    I envy you all the traveling. That was one of our plans for retirement. In fact, we were in the Peace Corps 40 years ago and always intended to return after we retired. But, Steve had some health issues that precluded extended travel. We limited ourselves to ski vacations, but the snow in California the last few years has been limited. We are thinking that he might be able to take some longer vacations soon.

    Enjoy your cruise and I am going to put your blog into my blog roll so I won't miss out and can travel vicariously through you for awhile.

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    1. Thanks so much for including me in your blog roll; I am always so honored when someone says they really do want to read what I write about what we do! Happy week ahead and here's to more travel adventures for you both. Good Health and Good Travels! Xx Jackie

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  7. Whether it's Easter or other internationally celebrated holidays it's interesting to see the differences between 'here' and 'there'. In the US, 'here', I tend to ignore the holidays due to all the commercialism. But I remember an inspiring month of Christmas in Mexico many years ago. BTW, I'm drooling over the Greek lamb.

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    1. Oh Gaelyn, you should have been there to smell that lamb roasting. It was incredible. Thanks for the visit!

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  8. Times and countries have changed so much over the years. Good Friday was a day of fasting, theaters closed and going to church. There is not much left of it. The same with Easter, it doesn;t feel good.
    Have a nice week.

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    1. Oh Diet, so sorry to hear that we all are losing 'it' when it comes to holidays. It makes me wonder sometimes where we all are headed. Thanks much for the visit and your comment!

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  9. I would love to spend the Christmas or Easter holiday in Greece. It sounds wonderful..enjoy the cruise! Your photos are lovely, thanks for sharing. Have a happy week ahead!

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    1. Oh Eileen, it is always so nice to see you here! Glad you are enjoying my photos. Hopefully I will get some good ones in the next few weeks! Hugs - Jackie

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  10. Hi Jackie, I enjoyed your "here and there" Easter. So interesting to see the difference in celebration. I'm not religious but I still love to see and hear about the traditional celebration that is rooted to its spiritual meaning. The one in Greece reminds me more of the Easter celebration when i was growing up in the Philuppines - people go to church early and witness a procession depecting the resurrection. Have a wonderful time in Thailand and enjoy Songkram.

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    1. I too think I am not a go-to-church religious but when surrounded by those who are, I can't help but be moved by their devotion.Thanks for the visit, Marisol

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  11. Hi Jackie...I'm excited for you being in Bangkok during Songkran. I've never been there during this Thai holiday, but I hear it can get pretty wild. It seems to me that the Europeans experience their holidays more through food, friends and family, and leave out a lot of the material stuff that we North Americans are so big on. Thanks for linking up this week!

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    1. Bangkok has grown. My goodness, Nancie. And I can only imagine Songkran. Should be interesting! More from me soon!!!

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  12. We've also enjoyed watching holidays celebrated in several countries and one of our travel highlights was watching the Lenten processions culminating in Semana Santa in Antigua, Guatemala. Another was meeting up with a procession of pilgrims (at least 200) the next year on a Nicaraguan road walking beside their carts pulled by oxen & horses. I think the thing that has struck us the most is the sense of family and devotion. Even as non-religious people we both seem to be fascinated by these customs as well as deeply moved by other's beliefs.

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    1. Anita, back in our days of owning homes in Mexico we came to dread Semana Santa as major loud-music rock parties all night long in our small beach community in Nayarit on the west coast. Loved the Christmas professionals though. Customs are so amazing; I feel we are losing them here in the US though! Thanks for your visit!

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  13. It really is interesting with the contrast between celebrations - even when thinking of Canada and the US.
    Enjoy your time in Bangkok and thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

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    1. You are so right about the contrasts in customs and holiday celebrations, Judith -even with next-door-neighbors, like the US and Canada! Hope to have internet and hook up next week - if not, see you when I can!

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  14. Happy Springtime! I've sure enjoyed your photos tonight. So many wonderful places to see when we get a chance to travel! Hugs, Diane

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    1. Hi Diane, and Happy springtime to you as well. Glad you enjoyed the photos and I know you'll be off traveling in the future!! Happy week ahead. Hugs, Jackie

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  15. I think you're right: we're doing it wrong. We've sanitized and commercialized our holidays, far away from any semblance of meaning. It's a good thing to experience them in places where tradition holds strong.

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    1. I do fear that PC -- even though so well intended -- has cut into the traditions and customs of all of us -- I know I hesitate to call out a. greeting of the season when in the US, but don't hesitate when in other countries. A sad, sad state! Thanks for the visit!!

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  16. I don't think that I've ever been in a foreign country around Easter, but I have been to several European counties during the Christmas season. It never ceases to impress me the contrasts with the holidays in the U.S. in so many cases, particularly with the religious traditions. Although, there was something surprising that we came across in a city in Provence this year. Apparently, the main Christmas creche was always set up at the town hall (I think). This year, the new mayor said wouldn't allow it and it was set up in a church. The people we spoke to were not happy about that.

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    1. We marveled at Prescott, Arizona where the county courthouse is basically Christmas central. We commented that that would never happen in our overly-PC state of Washington (as I mentioned in the comment below to Suzanne). Thanks for adding this, Cathy, it is good to hear from all our experiences.

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  17. We just spent the week between Palm Sunday and Easter in Israel. This year, Passover coincided with Easter. So while Christian pilgrims were flocking to Jerusalem and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Israeli Jews were getting ready for Passover (Pesach) and people from all over the world were coming to Israel to spend Passover with their families. During that week, we also visited Nazareth, today a majority Muslim/Arab Israeli town, but with about 30% Christians and home to the Basilica of the Annunciation. I was actually happy to get back to our PC "separation of church and state" culture in the US after the palpable religious group tensions in Israel and also in Turkey where we visited before arriving in Israel. Most Americans more than "tolerate" each others' religions (or no religion). We genuinely wish each other a Happy Easter or Passover if we know our friend's religion and a Happy Holiday if we are unsure. Growing up I was invited to share Easter dinners with our Christian friends and there was usually someone experiencing their first seder at our house. Yes, we over-commercialize most holidays in the US, but where I live (Philadelphia) we also respect each other.

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    1. It will be interesting to see Israel (hopefully the tensions don't cause the cruise line to cancel our stop there as has happened in the past). We live in a PC zealous area of the United States where it is often better to make everything vanilla -- ignore them all so as not to offend someone -- rather than feeling free to celebrate, greet or otherwise. We made world news a few years ago when one traveler complained about the Christmas-now-Holiday trees that were up at SeaTac and the Port Authority had them all removed instead of finding ways to decorate for all holidays being celebrated. The trees are finally back but not until a major uproar took place. So it really is in your perspective of the world, and experiences. Thanks for taking time to add such a thoughtful response, Suzanne. I love blogging when that happens!

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  18. Celebrating a holiday in a foreign country is always interesting. I've rarely had the pleasure. Thanks for sharing.

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  19. It's always interesting to spend holidays somewhere other than North America. It's a way of returning to our roots in a sense, before capitalism became the holiday norm.

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