My Week in Athens… May 9

  • by XpatAthens
  • Thursday, 05 February 2015
My Week in Athens… May 9
Ah Easter… a time of wonder (is anything open?), a time of miracles (how can I possibly eat any more?), a time of belief (I believe I’ll have more lamb, please).

But Easter is also a time of beautiful traditions and a time to spend with loved ones.

For me this meant calmly explaining to the family why I would not be joining them for Easter dinner, and instead opting to spend Easter Sunday with a group of Greek and expat friends. (Easter is also a time of high drama, as it turns out…)

During the evening of Good Friday, I ventured out for a walk, to discover a very unusual side of Athens – ‘silence’. Streets were almost deserted, no music at the cafes, everywhere calm - people young and old were following some unspoken rule, all of them, at the same time. Believers or not, I was impressed by this cross-generational observance of a tradition, which resulted in a common cross-generational behavior.

At the Anastasi service on Saturday night, my local church was packed – overflowing - with at least as many people outside as inside. And again, a cross section of Greek society, at the same place, following the same unspoken rules, calmly and without fuss. Easter in Greece seems to cross generations – young and old following a tradition that is very strong in the national psyche. And it’s not just Easter – this country is one of the few places I’ve been where the dominant culture crosses generations to such a great extent. I’m sure there’s a lesson in there somewhere…

Sunday was a great day. The wine was flowing, the lamb was roasting, the faces were smiling. And I thought that this amazing reward, this ‘payoff’ of the fantastic Easter feast, really made following the rules quite easy. If A + B = ‘really awesome’ C, then surely I’ll endure A & B… hmm…

Xronia polla to all!

Until next week,


In this weekly space, keep up with ‘Jack’ as he navigates daily life in Athens… Anecdotes, stories, hits & misses, the good, the bad and, well, the rest…