Easter Sunday
Sunday 8th April 2007
It's been awhile since Orthodox and Western Easters have collided on the same day. It's made Easter on Ithaca much busier than usual with many people on the island, not only those with their roots here, but visitors on holiday for the Easter period also. The 40 day Fast is broken and everyone indulges once again, in the delights of meat such as the traditional Easter Sunday lunch, lamb on the Spit, pork and goat. Bon Appetite.
It didn't matter where you went on the island, the smell of lamb roasting on the spit was thick in the air.
While the lamb turns on the Spit, friends and family enjoy eachothers company, talking over the news of the winter and their hopes for the Summer.
It's all new to the toddlers this year, but soon, Easter celebrations will be in their blood to look forward to each year, as does Niko Vlassopoulos (left) 90 years old. Niko has seen many Easters come and go and still enjoys the celebration with his extended and growing family.
That's got to hurt. Apparently the lambs' tail starts in the 'between the legs' position to begin, but points up once it's done to perfection. A little taste just to be sure.
A beer, some local wine and a little koretsi (you don't want to know what that is, believe me) and a nice view or two, while families await the Spit roasted lamb on their plates.
A crisp blue sky day with lots of sunshine for everyone to enjoy the outdoor ritual of lamb, roasting on the Spit, for Easter Sunday.
Wives, mothers and daughters, cooked their hearts out all over Ithaki...
while husbands, fathers and sons slaved over the hot coals. Once the lamb was cooked, it was dive in and don't look up for a breath until the bones are stripped of meat. 40 days is a long time for a Greek or other carnivore, to abstain from eating meat, so when it was time, it was on for young and old. Greasy chins and big smiling faces with bloated stomachs and satisfaction twinkling in their eyes. Yes, it's Easter time.
Easter time on Ithaca 2007
When the belly is full, most of the Ithacans on the island have their ritual afternoon nap. Snores and airy groans echo from house to house and firecrackers, ignited by kids, explode in the streets.

The day was so beautiful and so mild, that many refused to go home to continue their afternoon as they would every day, but instead, headed to the bars and cafes around the island to indulge further in Easter celebrations. And why not, Easter comes but once a year.

ithacagreece.com thanks all the families who welcomed me into their homes, to share Easter on Ithaca with all of you.

Happy Easter - Hronia Polla

Easter with all the traditions of Greece
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