“Why does your Easter fall on a different day than American Easter?”
You see, in the Greek Orthodox religion, we always celebrate the first Sunday after the full moon following the equinox. This means that Easter is always celebrated after Passover.
While most Americans are dipping eggs in multicolor dyes and waiting for the Easter Bunny, Greeks are celebrating a little bit different. Greek Easter entails: lighting candles, red colored eggs, and a huge lamb feast instead of the traditional American ham dinner.
My Pascha started out with church followed by a huge Agape (love) Feast. I must say that Pascha is the largest and most delicious feast of the year. My mother use to throw a mean Pascha party and cook for more than 50 people each year. Even those who were not Greek were excited to join in on the celebration.
Below is a picture my delicious Easter lunch:
Please note, it is never too early to drink wine. If you politely decline a glass, someone will fill it up anyways.
This lunch was followed by endless Greek pastries and cookies. Below is a picture of some of my favorites. Going clockwise: Koulourakia, Melomakarona, and Baklava.
Cracking red eggs are also a Pascha tradition. Two people will hold their eggs and tap them against each other. Those that crack their partner’s egg without cracking their own will have good luck for the entire year!
Tsoureki or “Easter Bread” is also abundant this time of year. This bread has a sweet flavor and the dough is braided and shaped in a circle. It is then topped with a red dyed egg in the center.
Although I enjoy cooking Greek food and baking baklava, I have yet to make this delicious bread myself. It is often gifted to my family each year by family friends! I plan on giving a tsoureki recipe a few trial runs soon in order to be prepared next year.
There is nothing better than spending time with friends/family, tasty food, and Greek dancing!
Happy Easter to all!