Greek Easter – Lent & Fasting





Greek Orthodox Lent is a time of fasting, which means abstaining from foods that contain animals with red blood (meats, poultry, game) and products from animals with red blood (milk, cheese, eggs, etc.), and fish and seafood with backbones. Olive oil and wine are also restricted. The number of meals on each day is also limited.


Note: Vegetable margarine, shortening, and oils are allowed if they do not contain any dairy products and are not derived from olives.


The purpose of fasting is to cleanse the body as well as the spirit in preparation for accepting the Resurrection at Easter, which is the most sacred of all observances in the Greek Orthodox faith.


Great Lent officially begins on Clean Monday, seven weeks before Pascha, and runs for 40 contiguous days, concluding with the Presanctified Liturgy on Friday of the Sixth Week.
The next day is called Lazarus Saturday, the day before Palm Sunday. (Thus, in case the Easter dates coincide, Clean Monday is two days before Ash Wednesday.)
Fasting continues throughout the following week, known as Passion Week or Holy Week and does not end until early in the morning of Pascha (Easter Sunday).
When Holy Week is coming to its end, unique traditions from different places across Greece enter the spotlight once again, adding a magical sense in the springtime festivities. Traditions that date back to time, customs only met in the Mediterranean country and delicacies baked to end the 40-days long Lent, form the best recipe for a wonderful Greek Easter experience across Greece.


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  • Georgea Keramidas -Guillory
    February 25, 2017

    Am I out of the loop of tradition? We only had crimson red Easter eggs. While growing up my friends had pastels and tye dyed eggs and my Mom said We are Greeks and this is the tradition handed down from our family…

    • Irene
      March 7, 2017

      You are correct. Greeks only do the red dyed eggs, symbolizing life. Although for fun, colored ones for the young ones are done-they are not traditional.

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