Greetings from Harakopio, where everyday life is gradually resuming, after all the excitement, social activity, food and general excesses of our Greek Easter here. The whole Koroni area seemed even busier than usual this year, with cafes and tavernas bustling with locals and visiting Greek families plus lots of young people from the cities. The extra influx was likely due to the rather late Easter weekend coinciding with the May Day holiday this year.
In the gradual run up to Easter I became a teeny bit obsessed with the drawing and painting of churches and flowers. This may have had something to do with the local church bells ringing the call to service each morning and the beautiful singing and chanting drifting through our back door in the early evenings plus the brightly coloured flowers popping up all around the village as houses were treated to a spring clean and some fresh whitewash.
Easter in Greece is the biggest religious event of the year. As a foreigner, it’s hard to keep tabs on what is happening when and where over Easter, especially as the date changes every year. We have settled into our own little routine which starts with joining friends on the Epitaphion candle-lit procession in Koroni on Good Friday evening. On Easter Saturday, along with crowds of visiting Greeks, we tend to partake of a leisurely ouzo-meze on the seafront in Koroni.
On Easter Sunday this year, we gathered with friends in Tsapi taverna for a traditional spit-roast lamb lunch by the sea. Afterwards I went to the hillside village of Vassilitsi for their early-evening church celebration with dancing, wine, diples …. (and more lamb!) outside the church.
For the last three years, Finikounda has hosted a roast-lamb and dancing extravaganza on the basketball pitch on Easter Monday. Driving over to Fini, we ran into the St.Georges day procession of the icon from Harakopio church, which is dedicated to St George. So in addition to being Easter Monday, this was a big name day celebration day for all the Yeorgos and Yeorgia’s all over Greece. The weather was a little unkind on Monday this year though – the clouds rolled in, the wind picked up ….. and later on the rains started.