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The Holy week on Crete.

As I woke up this morning I heard the church bells ring and realized that it’s Palm Sunday tomorrow morning.  As  I am still in Austia I refer to the western Easter.  Orthodox churches though base their Easter date on the Julian calendar, which often differs from the Gregorian calendar that is used by many western countries. Therefore the Orthodox Easter period often occurs later; this year the difference is one week, so it will be Eastern on Crete on the 8th of April.

Last year we published an article about Palm Sunday, with its events done by the Cretan ladies. Palm Sunday is the start of the Holy week.  Julia Milaki wrote us in detail what is going on during this week, so I thought; this is the perfect time to publish this all.

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The whole text is more than 1800 words, which is to much for one single blog post. Therefore I will publish this one a bit different than normally.

I will split up the week in four parts:

  • Palm Sunday
  • Monday till Wednesday
  • Thursday and Friday
  • Saturday and Sunday.

I will post these articles in our Infotheek, but also on our Routaki Facebook page.

Here in the blog post just the snippets and the tags. When the Holy week is finished this Routaki website – Infotheek, Orthodox church tab and corresponding Facebook page has a fine (maybe even a perfect) explanation concerning the Holy Week on Crete.

Palm Sunday is always celebrated a week before Easter Sunday. It represents the entrance of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem a week before Easter. In memory of this event, people receive a piece of palm leaf from the church on this day. It is shaped in a cross and it is blessed from the priests during Sunday service. Mrs. Katerina is one of the ladies who spends around 50 days and almost all of her time to create these pieces of art.  She makes e.g. 700 crosses and 500 donkeys.

Read the whole article >> routaki.com/palm-sunday

#holy_week  #palm_sunday  #traditionalcrete  #orthodoxchurch #palmcrosses

Great Monday and Great Tuesday are of less importance regarding facts. This gives the chance to the household wives to clean the houses and bake the sweets for Easter. The Holy Week is a week of strict lent and mourning, hence you can’t eat sweets.

Church service on Great Wednesday evening holds two different facts: the holy Anointing of the sick, for the benefit of a sick person.
The other fact of the evening is the introduction of the icon of the Last Supper. The meaning of it is the betrayal of Jesus Christ by one of his students. The icon will replace the one of Jesus Christ with the thorny wreath and will stay there until Great Thursday Evening.

Read the whole article >> routaki.com/holy-week-greek-easter-crete

#lent  #greatmonday  #anointing  #last_supper_icon  #orthoxchuch  #greek_easter

On morning service, the amount of people who receive Holy Communion is the biggest you can see. It is a great blessing and even people who do it less often can be met at church this morning. One thing that is common all around Greece is that we must eat something that contains vinegar. The eggs are also painted red today. They are painted red due to the blood that was shed by Jesus Christ while being on the Cross.
Great Thursday evening service is the one that introduces the Cross of Jesus Christ to the public.

On Great Friday many girls and women gather at church to dedicate themselves into decorating the tomb with flowers. In the evening the tomb is taken out of the church and it is taken on a tour around all the churches and streets in a village. In big cities where each church has its own tomb, it is customary that they meet at crossroads.

Read the whole article >> routaki.com/holy-week-greek-easter-crete

#Holycommunion #RedEggs  #Epifanoi

On Great Saturday Holy Communion is also very popular. The rest of the day is dedicated to the preparations for the evening dinner after the miss. “Magiritsa” is a soup that is made of a lamb’s liver, heart and intestines in a lemon, egg and dill sauce. At 11 o’ clock at night the bells at church ring for the night service. People take their white candles and go to church to receive the Holy Light as part of the procedure. Once they are at home and before entering the main door, the lord of the house makes 3 crosses with the Holy Light at the top wall of the door. Dinner is ready. The red eggs are used in a contest of breaking eggs among the family.

Easter Sunday is all about getting together and having fun. “Hristos Anesti” and “hronia polla” are two phrases that you hear a lot. The most traditional food today is lamb on the spit.  It requires at least 3-4 hours of cooking. During this time, the rest of the food is being prepared and people start drinking early today.

Read the whole article >> routaki.com/holy-week-greek-easter-crete

#HolyCommunion  #MagiritsaSoup  #NightService  #ThreeCrosses  #RedEggsFight  #HroniaPolla  #LambOnSpit

image inside the church on Crete on holy Thursday
traditional lamb out of the oven - end of the holy week on Crete
eating with friends and family on easter sunday morning

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In two weeks time summer season 2018 starts.

Lately I promoted my other businesspage; AJ4U Golf & Guide and I must say with succes. More than 100 likes on the AJ4U Facebook page and a lot of friends shared the news that AJ is bookable as your private travel partner, local guide, personal driver or how ever you like to call it. Do you also like to come along with AJ (on this website better known as Mr. Routaki)? Just check the available days and mention this day in the e-mail and some hints of the things you like to do on that day out.

Calendar does not exist.

house lord Olga with the easter palm tree, made for her children

I hope you like reading this all and wish you already a great eastern.

Xronia Polla

p.s. coincidence once again doesn’t exist. While writing this post my Austian landlady walks out of the house with this beautiful palm easter tree. Ten more days of Austria and than on my way to Crete.

Ta lemme,

Mr. Routaki

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