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    12 Reasons Why Greek Easter Is The Best Easter

    The red eggs. The lamb. The fireworks. It’s good to be Greek on Easter.

    1. We dye eggs red. Just red.

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    Pastels? Pssh. Greeks dye their Easter eggs a deep red color in memory of the blood of Christ. Bonus points for slathering them in olive oil to get a mirror-like shine.

    2. A silent procession on Good Friday around the block.

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    The Epitaphios is covered with fragrant flowers. On Friday, it’s taken around the church in a somber, silent procession. Getting hundreds if not thousands of Greeks to be quiet all at the same time? That’s a miracle in and of itself.

    3. Tsoureki is quite possibly the tastiest sweet bread you’ll ever have.

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    It’s flakey. It’s light. It’s coated in almonds and butter and BAM, there’s an egg or two on it too. What’s not love?

    4. Good Friday church services are *stunningly* beautiful.

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    We dare you to listen to lamentations sung during late night liturgy on Friday and not cry. Η ζωή εν τάφω (I Zoi en Tafo) is one of the most moving hymns about Jesus and the Tomb.

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    http://youtube.com/watch?v=EfTt5kQT6Z0

    5. You might see Tom Hanks at church.

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    Tom Hanks, whose wife Rita Wilson is Greek, has been known to help carry the Epitaphio during Good Friday services.

    6. The candles. Oh, the candles

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    Ask a Greek woman what not to wear to Easter services and she’ll tell you hairspray is definitely on the no-no list. That’s because Greeks love us some candles. Skinny, fat, fancy or just plain, Easter is all about the light. And avoiding getting your hair burned.

    7. Holy Fire is probably the coolest thing to see in church, ever.

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    On Holy Saturday at night, all lights in the church go dark and the Holy Fire is miraculously lit. Everyone’s candles are unlit and then the light makes it way from person to person, until the whole church is shining bright with the light of the Resurrection. Yes, all churches light candles during Easter. But Greeks elevate candle lighting to an Olympic sport.

    8. Χριστός ανέστη! Start the fireworks!

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    What better way to celebrate the Resurrection than a boatload of fireworks? In the town of Vrodandos, it's tradition to celebrate with a "fireworks war" between two churches. Fireworks also fill the streets in other towns around Greece as well, making for a glorious and fun way to herald Easter Sunday.

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwYrPhLBvz8

    9. Christ has Risen! Time to eat!

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    Days of preparation are needed to make the Anastasis (post-Resurrection) buffet just right. Right after church lets out early Sunday morning, Greeks break their fast with outrageous amounts of meat, cheese, and sweets. Is there any other way to break a fast?

    10. Αληθώς ανέστη!, start the feast!

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    Yes, it looks like a hideous monstrosity. Yes, it takes forever to cook. But the melt-in-your-mouth taste of seasoned Greek lamb is so scrumptious, it makes fasting for 40 days on peanut butter sandwiches totally worth it.

    11. All the candy is on SALE!

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    No reason to hurry and buy Easter candy full price! Since Greek Easter is always after non-Orthodox Easter, Greeks enjoy endless amounts of peeps and chocolate bunnies at sale prices that would make any frugal yiayia proud.

    12. Greek Easter is simply beautiful and awe-inspiring.

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    It is without question that the Greek Easter is the most beautiful holiday of the year. The church is decorated with beautiful flowers, the ψάλτης (chanter’s) voice is echoing, the eggs are all dyed red, the church is glowing with candles and the entire community basks in the glow of the Light and the Resurrection.

    So this Holy Week, go ahead and share the spirit and beauty of Orthodox Easter with your friends!

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