We’re now in Μεγαλι Εβδομαδα, Holy Week, the run-up to Greek Easter. This is the week where even those who don’t fast will fast except for the ones who don’t fast until Holy Saturday and then they’re forced into it because most tavernas will quite simply have no food. (This is where being in a tourist area is a blessing because my experience of Holy Saturday is that it’s not the night to go to that charming local taverna because you’ll be met with incredulity and an offering of spinach and rice.) As ever there’s the interplay between God and Mammon with extended shopping hours during holy week so that all the gifts can be bought in time for the weekend. Easter here is celebrated more than Christmas and they have fireworks instead of Christmas crackers.
There’s something here about how the dates for Easter are calculated and why the Greek and Catholic Easter dates are still different. It’s like one of those mathematical problems that I spent much of my school days avoiding. If there are 3 cathedrals, 4 spires, 6 bishops and a nun how much will the incense cost if it’s 30p per kilo? And why are the dates still different? I think it’s because someone in the church might have made it up, but we’re not supposed to say that.
I will be celebrating Easter in Crete where they burn effigies of Judas on bonfires so combined with the fireworks it will be a bit like Guy Fawkes night only with ouzo, octopus and 34 degrees. Happy Easter.