in the Greek Orthodox calendar, Pascha is here and we’re lucky enough to be enjoying beautiful warm days. Over the next few weeks there are numerous processions taking place
Tomorrow a procession will take place around the Panagia island, boats will be leaving from the main square in Gaios around 3.30pm. The candles that are lit are kept and said to prevent rough seas.
In the evening the epitaphios is carried through the villages of Lakka (8pm) Loggos (9pm) and Gaios (10pm) in a candle-lit procession. In the afternoon the un-married women of the villages decorate the epitaphios with flowers.
On Saturday at 9am at Agios Jacobs in Fontana the Pagan tradition of the banging of the pews takes place, said to ward off evil spirits – in the past stones were also thrown from the female viewing balcony to the same effect.
Saturday night the Liturgy of Ressurection (Anastasi) will take place at 11pm in the main churches in each village, Agios Andres in Lakka, Agios Nicholas in Loggos and the church in the square in Gaios. The Papas carries the Holy Light and invites everyone to light their candle from it. On the stroke of mid night the Papas announces Christos Anesti (Christ has risen) fire-works and gun-fire sound to mark the celebration, the congregation’s response Alithos Anesti (It is true, Christ is risen).
The priest then returns to the back of the church where he bangs on the door announcing himself as the king of glory, the answer from within is ‘who is the king of glory’ this happens 3 times, the final time the priest kicks the door open announcing ‘the strong mighty Lord is the king of glory’
People try and ensure their candle stays alight until they return home where they mark the lintels of their door with a cross that will then bring them good luck for the rest of the year. Magiritsa is eaten at home to break the fast, this is made from the stomach of the lamb.
Sunday tends to be a family day with plenty of roast lamb and wine.
The 3 main icons move on Easter Monday, this takes place at around 10.30am
Ipipanti to Agios Andreas in Lakka
The Panagia icon comes from the island to the square in Gaios where it is met with the icon from Haralambos, the Panagia icon goes to Agios Yorgos in Vellientatika and the Haralambos to Agios Balaskevi
On Friday the Ipapanti icon moves from St Andreas to Loggos Agios Nicolaos, around 6pm.
On Sunday all 3 icons move again, times to be confirmed.
I wish you all a very Happy Easter x