By 9am, the aroma of lamb roasting on the spit was wafting from village to village around Ithaca. The weather was fine, despite the predicted rain and wind, so there was nothing in the way for this Easter Sunday. After weeks of fasting, the serviettes were out and the prelude to the Easter Lamb, the kokoretsi, was the first taste of meat since the beginning of Lent, for many on the island. Easter Sunday is a time for all the family. From near and far, people return to Ithaca to spend the weekend with those they love.
The big surprise for Kioni was the Day Tripper ferry that rolled in just before midday. It was no doubt a surprise for those taking the trip too, with not a single place open for them to drink even a coffee. The ferry was filled with Greek day trippers, so it should have been no surprise to them that families opted to spend the day at home instead of at work.
While the men attended the lamb, the women took care of everything else.
When the lamb spat its last drop of succulence onto the burning coals, lips were smacking and mouths, salivating in anticipation...but there was still a little wait. The lamb had to be released from its contraption first. There were wires to cut, rods to pull out, bones to axe.
Let the eating frenzy begin.
ithacagreece.com would like to thank Spiridoula Karantzis and family of Raxi, Dionysios Karantzis and family of Kioni and Poppy and Nektarios Vasilopoulos and family of Stavros for allowing me to film and share Easter Sunday on Ithaca with all of you online.