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Orthodox Easter at Kimolos Island

Orthodox Easter at Kimolos Island - gokimolos.grblank1x1blank1x1Easter (Pascha) is the most glorious feast of the Orthodox Church and Greeks really love it.
This year Easter is on May 5, just in the most beautiful time of the Spring, when the weather is fine and the Greek countryside is at its best.
Kimolos is already in bloom! Numerous wild herbs and Mediterranean shrubs keep honey bees busy, while migratory birds take a rest in Aliki salt pan.
Everyone makes some preparations for the Easter week, which begins on Palm Sunday (April 28th), after forty days of fast.

Orthodox Easter at Kimolos Island - gokimolos.grblank1x1blank1x1There are church services every evening, but the most important ones are held on Thursday and Friday evening and on Saturday night.
On Thursday morning women bake local delicacies which will be eaten on Saturday midnight's dinner, when the fast is over. Hard – boiled eggs are dyed red, in memory of the Christ's sacrifice. In the evening, there is a long service and after that, many people stay in the church throughout the night, while the women decorate the “Epitaphios” with flowers, singing a long traditional song which is supposed to be the lament of the Virgin Mary. Epitaphios is a piece of cloth, embroidered or painted with the image of the dead Christ, placed on a wooden representation of a church.

 

Orthodox Easter at Kimolos Island - gokimolos.grblank1x1blank1x1On Friday evening, a funeral service is held. At about 9pm, the epitaphios is taken from the church and carried through the narrow roads, with all the proper solemnities.
After that, an effigy of Judas is burned at Kampos square.

 

Orthodox Easter at Kimolos Island - gokimolos.grblank1x1blank1x1
On Saturday night, at about 11pm, everyone goes to the church with a candle, for the happiest service of the year. At midnight, when every light is turned off, the priest announces that the Christ has risen from the dead. He lights on a candle, and people light their ones from his. The church bells ring in celebration, people greet each other, saying “Christos Anesti” (Christ has risen) and return home with their candles lighted. A traditional soup of lamb or young goat meat is the main dish of the celebrating dinner.
On Easter Sunday, families and friends get together to eat roasted lamb or young goat, drink some wine and dance.

Sounds like we should pay Kimolos a visit this Easter!

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