“Everyone, come receive the light”
Easter season is the most significant and sacred time of the Orthodox Church calendar.
Greek Easter 2017
In 2017, the dates for Greek Easter are the same as for western Easter, as it was in 2014. The dates for Greek Easter in 2017 are as follows:
Good Friday 2017 on Friday, April 14 – Day of Mourning
Easter Saturday 2017 on Saturday, April 15 – The epitach is adorned with flowers – a representation of the body of Christ, which is carried in a procession during a Service of Lamentation. Just before midnight, as the Eternal Flame from the altar is passed around the congregation, the light is passed on to each member. Traditionally, the lit candles are carried home and is used to light other candles at home, followd by marking the doorways with a cross. Breaking of the fast takes place with chicken soup, bread and red dyed eggs.
Easter Sunday or Easter Day 2017 on Sunday, April 16 – Celebrating Christ’s Resurrection. Celebrating this event with families and friends with Lamb on the spit, music and dance.
Easter Monday on Monday, April 17.
Orthodox Easter celebrations vary from country to country
Some of you may have noticed that Easter is a movable feast, always celebrated on the Sunday immediately following the Paschal Full Moon. The term “paschal” is derived the Hebrew word “pesach,” which is used to refer to Passover.
There are two factors why Greek Easter differed in date in 2016. The Greek Orthodox church follows the old traditions in following the Julian calendar, which is technically 13 days later than the Gregorian calendar. The other factor is once again by tradition, adhered to since 325 AD (the First Ecumenical Council, held in Nicea), following the requirement that Greek Easter must follow the Jewish Passover in order to maintain the Biblical sequence of Christ’s Passion.
Today, 24 April 2016 – Greek communities from around the globe celebrated Palm Sunday as symbol of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, a week before Easter, ending on Easter Sunday (Pascha) on the 1st of May 2016.
Fasting continues throughout Holy Week (with the more eastern orthodox traditions – fasting begins 40 days prior to Pascha), breaking the fast just before midnight on Holy Saturday, on the evening before Easter.
Once again, tradition brings the Red Easter eggs as symbols of new life. The Easter eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Christ that was shed for the redemption of all men and women.
The Greek followers tend to break the fast on the eve of Saturday with the cracking of the eggs, followed by a feast at home with family and loved ones.