Saturday, April 15, 2017

Great and Holy Saturday

Good Morning-ish! Today's the big day. Well, technically tomorrow is the big day, but it started this morning in Jerusalem. The Patriarch emerged from Jesus' tomb with the Holy Fire, said to spontaneously ignite from the Holy Sepulchre. From his candles, other candles are lit, and the Holy Fire spreads. The flames are taken via airplane and helicopter to every part of Greece, where local Priests are on hand to return to their churches with the flame. Tonight, the Holy Fire will pass from these clergymen to their congregants. After Christ's resurrection is announced, people will take their candles home, and make the sign of the cross above the door in smoke.

View of the Ranunculus in my jug this morning.

It's a long church service tonight. [UPDATE: it wasn't that long after all.] It's exciting to see the Holy Fire spread, and to hear the priest yell, "Χριστός ἀνέστη!" As Christ's resurrection is announced, church bells peal, ship horns blast, and fireworks explode. It's noisy, and cool. 

This morning, people attended a service at church. It was nothing close to the crowd that attended last night, and most attendees were older. This afternoon, the church is mostly empty. There are a few people popping in and out. The priests and the church mom are busy getting things ready.

It's quiet now..,

I have to apologize again for spreading misinformation. I thought I was told that everything would be closed this weekend, but that's just not true. We saw multiple grocery stores, bakeries, and coffee shops open for business. The archaeological sites are open, too, though with shorter hours. We just returned from the Byzantine and Christian Museum, which was pretty dead apart from a handful of tourists. We stopped for bougatsa, and a potato pastry. 

This is a view of Aristotle's Lyceum, which we have still never seen from the other side of the fence. We got closer today. We finally found the entrance. We also found out that a standalone ticket for this place is 4 euros during the summer season, which started on April 1. I have a hard time believing it's worth it. 

This tree looked Seussian. It looked and felt like pom poms. This is the garden outside the Byzantine and Christian Museum. It's a really pretty spot. 

On the streets, the locals are doling out "Kalo Pascha" greetings like candy. They're also doling out candy like candy, though that only happened because we stopped to talk with a yiayia who loved The Kid, and happened to have a few candies in her bag. 

I'm still trying to learn the symbolism of the door knocking last night. The woman at the museum said it represents the death of Christ. I think there's probably more detail than that, but I'm not sure if she was able to translate it into English. It was another instance where I wished I could understand Greek. 

We'll sort of be taking it easy this afternoon. As always, I'll let you know if I see anything, or make any more mistakes.

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