Student Post: Janine Uy

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.

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