Friday, 22 April 2011

Good Friday - Megali Paraskevi

So today is the special Megali Paraskevi (Good Friday) where Jesus was crucified on the cross. It is a special weekend for all Christians around the world today, but the Greeks have their own way of celebrating this.

Yesterday was holy Thursday and is the special day for dying the eggs. Typically, they are meant to be dyed red which is the symbol and colour for life. Nowadays, we often like to have a variety of different coloured eggs:

These eggs will be saved for Sunday morning... more about that this weekend!

Tonight, many Greeks will make their way to church for a special service. All day yesterday, many of the women were working on something called the 'epitaphios' which is also known as the Bier of Christ, which is covered with flowers so that on Good Friday morning, it is ready to receive the image of the body of Christ when he is taken down from the Cross.

Good Friday is a day of mourning. The icon of Christ is taken down and wrapped in linen and put in the epitaphios, symbolising Christ in his tomb. Late on Friday night, this epitaphios is then carried around the town and everyone walks behind it on mass holding lighted candles taken from Church. 

It is a very emotional day, hence the more serious tone of this post. So many are happy having this day off as a bank holiday when really, it is something very precious that should never be forgotten.

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