Saturday, 22 April 2017

Easter

The island is celebrating Easter.  It is the most important religious celebration for the Cypriots although commercially I suspect Christmas is fast overtaking it.  I like that, as a country, it remains steadfast in its beliefs and practices its religion without apology even though it is more cosmopolitan now than ever before.

So far the weather has been less than kind - today, Good Friday, has brought dipping temperatures this evening with rain and rolling mists as witnessed by Lou, H and I in Kathikas where we went to sample the delights of the Pizza Box - not the same without John but needs must.  

Through the course of this evening and later on tonight there will be Easter celebrations happening across all the towns and villages especially at midnight when I will be safely tucked up in bed.  

This is usually accompanied by a cacophony of explosions from the sometimes lethal home made bangers which the youths seem to relish, although this normally starts weeks before and continues weeks afterwards so far they have been conspicuous by their absence thank goodness.

Soon it will be time for the traditional dyed red eggs.  On the first hours of Easter Sunday and right after "Christ has risen" Greek Orthodox crack red eggs during dinner.  This tradition has the symbolism of resurrection and new life.  The egg is seen by the followers of Christianity as a symbol of resurrection because whilst being dormant it contains a new life sealed within it.  The eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Christ, shed on the Cross, and the hard shell symbolizes the sealed Tomb of Christ, the cracking of which symbolizes his resurrection from the dead.


Followers of Eastern Christianity says that Mary Magdalene was bringing cooked eggs to share with the other women at the tomb of Jesus and the eggs in her basket turned brilliant red when she saw the risen Christ.

I am ashamed to admit that previously I had never questioned the relevance of chocolate eggs as a gift at Easter.  I think I had just assumed they were commercially created to provide a nice treat for t those who had given up something for Lent but now I know how symbolic they are to those of a Christian faith.  Isn't it strange how many traditions we just take for granted without actually questioning why or how they have become such?

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