After meshing use of those frequent flier miles with Greek weather forecasts – and the travel plans of English friends – this spring’s Big Birthday trip is looking like reality.
And one of the best parts of this upcoming adventure is that we will be there for Greek Orthodox Easter, May 5th.
We’ll celebrate the holiday twice – once at home on March 31st and again five weeks later in Greece -- where this more-important-than-Christmas celebration will undoubtedly trump those in the Pacific Northwest.
We were introduced to Greek Easter a few years ago on the Greek island of Mykonos. . .
It was an oft-times overcast, rainy weekend.
A time when cold, blustery winds introduced the blue skies that made but cameo appearances. So cold, I wore the silk long johns that I (now) routinely pack for any spring or fall European trip.
But it would take more than Mother Nature’s cold shoulder to detract from the magic of being on the Greek island and watching their holiday preparations.
On Easter Saturday while we aimlessly strolled the narrow walkways past iconic blue shutters framed in brilliant blossoms. . .
. . .there was a crescendo of preparations taking place. Scenes like the one at this small bakery were being played throughout the town. Dyed eggs – blood red - were delivered by the crate while dough was kneaded and then twirled and twisted for the Easter biscuits.
The red color symbolizes the blood of Christ and the egg itself, rebirth. Custom dictates it is the first food eaten after fasting (although we suspect that might not be the case these days).
Returning to our hotel, we found this basket with Easter biscuits and eggs had been placed in our room.
To eat the eggs, according to tradition, they should be cracked, big end to big end or small to small. As the cracking takes place, one person says, “Christos Anesti!” and the other replies, “Alithos Anesti!” (Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!)
We’ll tell you more about Greek Easter celebrations after this year’s. We plan to be on Crete’s southern coast , most likely in Loutro, for this holiday.
Want to know more about these two Easter celebrations? I’m including this link to an excellent explanation written by novelist Jeffrey Siger (He lives on Mykonos a good part of each year and his first four murder mysteries are set in the Cycladic Islands of which Mykonos is a part.)
And this is our contribution to Travel Photo Thursday – head to Budget Travelers Sandbox for more photos and tales. If you’ve not yet ‘liked’ TravelnWrite’s Facebook page, click this link to do so! We’d appreciate it.