I flew out earlier this year to experience this, the days before Easter I caught up with many of my Greek friends who had been fasting from eating meat for lent. In this time I got invited to quite a few BBQ's for when Easter has finished which was quite nice.
Good Friday is classed as a day of mourning, churches ring their bells throughout the morning which represents the death toll from that town throughout the year. In the evening the priest carried a small coffin around Malia with the congregation following behind.
Easter Saturday morning consists of the Greeks setting up and preparing a bonfire at the traffic lights in between Kaza and Galaxy pub, stacking the bonfire so high against the traffic lights and hanging Judas from it. (Judas was who betrayed Jesus) In the evening, from around eleven thirty at night, it felt like the whole of Malia had joined each other around the bonfire.
Fire crackers flying everywhere as people threw them into the road, they make you jump out of your skin even though you know they're going to go off, haha. At around midnight they set the bonfire alight and within seconds it was immersed in flames as seen in the picture above, with Judas burning as the centre piece. At midnight the forty day fasting ended, as the fire dies out, some people went to the church for service, while others went home and had a feast. Now that the fasting has ended the majority of the meals they had that night consisted meat.
On Easter Sunday I was invited to a BBQ with the family from The Loft, when I arrived the lamb on the spit was almost ready, it was huge and looked so delicious ! After we finished the meal and somehow devoured the desert I slowly felt like I was falling asleep from all the food. I had such a good day from a nice welcoming family which topped off an amazing insight weekend into the Greek Easter.
By Simo _OUT & ABOUT