12, April 2010 § Leave a comment
Before I moved to Paros three Easters ago I remember ranting and raving to all my friends about me being here on time for the greatest Greek celebration of all. Suma (a Parian name for a Greek moonshine also known as Tsipouro ), music, family and good friends and of course lamb on the spit!
It was indeed a boys morning this sunday. Shaun, John Masters and “The Butcher” Lambis impaled our lamb and got the coal going whilst most of us were still off in la-la land. By 11 more of us had arrived and we started the roasting and roughly three hours of the same boring circular hand movement. Some adventure it was none the less. By the end of the procedure our lamb had an armor of wire tying it down as numerous times it had threatened to fall into the hot coal.
Spirits were high and the mood was great. Food had started to fill the tables in the Aegean Village courtyard with each student having prepared a dish or bringing a side or drink. Finally we could eat. Crispy roast lamb, amazing corn chowder,tasty ratatouille,fresh salads,easter bread, chips – oh no, sorry, “French Fries”- you name it! This was a feast worthy of stretching for hours and boy did it ever! The afternoon passed slowly and wonderfully. There were calls for wine, occasional nibbles on what little food remained, warm laughter and humongous bellies resting on tired legs scattered all around the courtyard. If I cared enough I would now be on a strict diet to rid myself of the weight gained this Easter so BIG success says I !
Thanks to everyone for an amazing day and of course special thanks to the Packs for the lamb and little Gabriel (now twice my size) for all his help and company!
Lliam Storms is a photography student here at the Aegean Center. This is his third semester.
8, April 2010 § Leave a comment
Windows opening after a long winter sleep; fresh spring air rushing in; brilliant sun warming up the white walls and illuminating the world. No one can deny that spring has arrived, and with the change of season comes one of the most anticipated religious celebrations, Easter.
Easter signals the end of Lent. It is the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. Now when we talk of celebrations, no one quite does it like the Greeks do. Greeks love a good celebration so you know they’re going all out for Easter. The past weeks leading up to this day have been full of activities for the Greeks. Everywhere you look locals are busy preparing. Walls and streets being cleaned and given a new coat of paint, store windows being revamped for the new season, tables and chairs being propped back in their place outside, and decors being put up. For weeks they have been preparing their souls and bodies through fasting and abstinence; and now, it is time for them to put preparation in full gear. A very important man is coming therefore everything must be in order.
The week of Easter arrives and the mood of the island changes. All the churches are opened and services are ongoing pretty much the entire day. More and more people are on the streets; mostly Greek families, but tourists are also to be seen. With each passing day, the feeling of anticipation intensifies. Good Friday comes and we all join in the solemn festivity at the Church of the Hundred Doors. The sense of a family coming together as one in mourning a great death is overwhelming. However, knowing that something much better is coming instantly soothes the spirit. On the eve of Easter, the Greeks ceremoniously take the light that shall serve as their illumination and guidance for the entire year. I did as any Greek did; I took my light back to my apartment and put a cross on my door.
It’s Easter! Christ has risen! It’s time to celebrate! At the stroke of midnight, you hear fireworks go off and people gleefully greet each other while protecting their lighted candles with dear life. To start off our celebration, we headed off to a restaurant where we partook in the Greek tradition of eating gut soup after the midnight mass. It is, well, an acquired taste, but is undeniably flavorful. I say you have to try it at least once. For our Easter lunch, John generously provided us with a lamb on the spit, which the boys cooked excellently. Along with the free flowing wine and the smorgasbord that left everyone too full to function, it was a day of being in high spirits with family and loved ones.
Janine Uy is a photography student here at the Aegean Center. This is her second semester.