Lazarakia (λαζαράκια), meaning little Lazarus, are sweet, spicy small bread that are handmade on Lazarus Saturday, one week before the Greek Orthodox Easter. They represent the miracle of Jesus raising his friend Lazarus from the dead, after four days in the tomb. They are shaped like boys with crossed arms on their chest. Also their bodies seem to be wrapped in burial clothes.
It is that time of the year again. Greek godparents (νονός, νονά) visit their godchildren and bring them their Easter candles (lambades, λαμπάδες) which are lit on the midnight Holy Saturday service. They also bring presents or clothes and a chocolate Easter egg.
Sarakosti (The Great Lent is a Christian Orthodox tradition. It’s a 50 day period of fasting, during which people do not eat all meat & animal products(eggs, dairy) except seafood (however fish isn’t allowed). This is actually a traditional Greek version of a vegetarian diet, that’s also followed before Christmas, before the Dormition of the Mother of God in August and every Wednesday & Friday. Taramasalata (taramosalata) is one of the most popular dips that Greeks eat during that period.
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Holy Thursday is the day that Greeks by tradition dye the eggs red. This tradition has started to fade the last years. Bright colours, patterns, stickers and more crafting ideas are used nowadays to decorate Easter eggs.
Cracking the Easter eggs symbolises Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The custom takes place after the Resurrection (on Easter Saturday midnight). It is a game that involves two players and two eggs which the players choose from a basket of red eggs. One player holds his egg and the other player taps with the under end of his egg, the upper end of the other player’s egg. The goal is to crack the other player’s egg. The winner, then, uses the same end of the egg to tap the other, – non cracked – end of the opponent’s egg. The winner is the one, whose egg will crack the eggs of all the other players.