As Orthodox Easter is based on the Julian calendar, Easter falls at a different time each year and at a different time from the Easter period recognised by other Christian churches. Orthodox Easter is symbolised not only in the celebrations of Easter Sunday but it involves a period of preparation over a number of important days that culminates in a large feast on Sunday 8 April.
Easter Sunday is a joyous celebration that brings together family and friends around mountains of fabulous food. After 40 days of fasting, as is dictated by the Greek Orthodox church but rarely followed these days, the Easter feast begins with a light meal after the midnight liturgy on Saturday night. The fast is often broken with mageiritsa, an offal-based soup.
Rich in tradition and custom, the Easter table features meats such as lamb or goat, cheeses, wine, specialty breads like tsoureki and sweets. The variations on the Easter theme are immense and vary from family to family and region to region. A bowl of dyed eggs sits on the table, where it is customary to crack them and good luck for the year ahead is brought to those whose egg remains intact.
You can find many of the Orthodox Easter feasting foods, dyes, candles and more at the Market.
Head to Emerald Deli for all your homemade sweet Easter treats. Try the Koulourakia – crispy, orange scented Greek Easter cookies, the perfect treat with a coffee or hot chocolate. There’s also kourambiethes – Greek cookies with a delicious toasted almond crunch, coated in loads of icing sugar – delicious!
Traditional Greek Easter candles (Lambada) can be found in Vangeli’s Deli and Steve’s Deli. These candles are lit at the midnight service on Easter Sunday and play a significant part in Orthodox Easter festivities.
Rita’s Coffee & Nuts
Rita’s has it all with locally-made Tsoureki, an Easter bread served in Greece to break the Lenten fast. This beautiful bread is traditionally braided, with a red-dyed, hard-boiled egg inserted at one end and then baked. Beautiful to look at, delicious to eat. You can also get your hands on delicious Tantric Turkish figs filled with walnuts, honey, cinnamon and Greek women’s secret spices.
Visit Ralph’s Meats for succulent Easter lamb. Lamb is roasted on a spit and typically eaten after the holy Saturday service to break the fast.
Leading up to the Great Easter Sunday is the traditional 40 day lent, during which meat and dairy products are substituted with plentiful amounts of vegetables, fish and seafood. Visit South Melbourne Seafoods, The Fish Shoppe and Aptus Seafood for all your seafood needs this Easter.
We wish you all a very happy Orthodox Easter.