For Christians, this is Holy Week, in capital letters. It began last Sunday, with Palm Sunday, which refers to Jesus Christ's palm-leaved welcome into the city of Jerusalem. Every day this week is related to the corresponding day of Jesus's final week. Today is Holy Thursday, the day of the Last Supper, washing of the feet, agony in the garden, and the betrayal of Jesus. Tomorrow is Good Friday, the day of Christ's crucifixion and death, followed by Great and Holy Saturday, then Easter Sunday.
Last year, Greece Easter was on a different day than America Easter. The Orthodox faith uses a different calendar to determine the dates of Holy Week. This year, the moons aligned; or, as the car rental guy in Thessaloniki said, Catholic Easter is the same day as Easter. It's really exciting for our household, because it means we get to experience the Greek way of doing Easter, AND eat the Peeps from our Easter baskets.
After watching Greek Easter from my postpartum roost last year, I decided I'd like to be more involved this year. So, I'm descending from our balcony. I'm going to keep track of my Easter involvement on the blog, hopefully as I experience it. I'm not sure how frequent, or interesting, the posts will be, but I'll try my best.
The first thing Easter thing I've done is learn how to say "Happy Easter" in Greek. It sort of happened involuntarily, because I was starting to hear it a lot from locals. This greeting is used before Christ's "resurrection" at the late-Saturday night church service. I've been throwing it around like crazy.
Happy Easter: Καλό Πάσχα! (Kah-lo Pahhsk-uh)
If someone wishes you a Happy Easter, you respond by saying, Επίσης (Ehpee-sees), which just means, "Yeah, man, you too," but more formal.
Καλό Πάσχα, my friends. Let's do this.