Christos Anesti ("Χριστός ἀνέστη!" - "Christ is Risen!" in Greek)
As the villagers made their way to the church in response to the bells on Saturday night, the firecrackers went off around them. Undeterred they made it to the church door, but so full of people many stood outside as the liturgy was sung. All ages gathered at the church and some chose to stand alone and watch. Too many bangs to hear the service the Priest completed just before midnight as the fireworks went off illuminating the church from above and the Light of the world was spread out from the church.
As the Priest came out and said“Christos Anesti” (Christ is Risen) the Villagers replied: “Alithos Anesti” (Truly He is Risen) amid ringing bells and snapping fire-crackers. Families and friends kissed one another and exchanged the Easter greeting .It was very moving.
People bearing candles lit from within shared amongst each other , returned home lighting the way and spreading the news for another year. The ritual of smoking the cross over the front door must have happened all over the village. Small children carried Pom Pom lights, some had lanterns and some long tapered candles. Mums, Dads, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Widows all shared in the experience and knew the ritual.
As I strolled up towards the centre, some men remained in the Kafenions drinking beer and coffee. I couldn’t help think that perhaps this ritual was maybe ‘same old, same old’ , but no. As we walked back past they were watching the event on the Big Screen from Athens away from the dynamite throwers. My ears were ringing from the bells and the explosions.
Last minute hair does were being created in the salons presumably for today’s celebrations and big family gatherings. The salon owner closest to the church was taping up his window to save it from the blasts and remonstrating with the offender. So woe betide that Easter Reveller if the glass isn’t intact this morning.
The liturgy continued for a long time after and the occasional crackle could be heard in the voices of the Priest.
ps 4 windows broken to date
pps saved from the Magiritsa soup. Sorry as much as I like Greek cuisine didn't fancy lambs entrails.