6 Greek Easter Dishes & Origins

From the red eggs to the lamb and the mageiritsa, the delicious traditions of Easter go back hundreds, even thousands of years.

Spring. Nature. Country. White tablecloths. If you were to describe Easter, what words would you use? Probably the words that give birth to its flavors, because Easter is the most deeply connected with the delicious traditions of the celebration of the year. Traditions that go back hundreds, even thousands of years. What we eat at Easter is very specific. Have you ever wondered why?

Red Easter Eggs_Greek easter traditions

Dying the Eggs Red

Probably the most popular dish of the day and a trademark of the table of “Lambri”. Today they decorate eggs with different colors and visual styles. Mostly, however, the Easter eggs on the table are red. The egg symbolizes life and creation. We always dye them on Maundy Thursday, the day of the Last Supper. Their red color symbolizes the blood of Christ on the Cross, but at the same time the rebirth of the world, the joy of the Resurrection, since the egg also refers to the tomb of Christ that people found empty. The shell of the egg breaks and a new life is born, just as in the burial, the stone broke during the Resurrection (hence the crunching).

Chocolate Easter eggs_Greek Easter Traditions

Chocolate Eggs

In another version, the eggs become chocolate and occupy an equally important place in the traditions of the day. They first appeared in Europe in the 19th century when one of the well-known families of chocolate makers was experimenting with ways to melt and shape chocolate more easily. Inspired by the custom of decorating eggs on Easter days, the brothers made the first chocolate egg in 1875. They decorated it with flowers from sugar paste and filled it with caramelized almonds.

Lamb on spit_Greek Easter Food

Lamb

The protagonist at the table is the lamb in countless religious stories of Christianity. Nonetheless, it symbolizes the supreme sacrifice, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who as the “Lamb of God” bore the sins of the world.

Easter Tsoureki_Greek food

Tsoureki

An integral part of the Christian tradition, the bread symbolizes the Body of Christ, which he distributed to his disciples at the Last Supper. The recipe for making bread is enriched and varied according to the traditions of each place so that the bread is always and in every way in the celebrations of our religion. Tsoureki is perhaps the most popular festive variation of bread. It is also known as “Lambri bun” and got its name from the Turkish word “corek” which characterizes any dough containing yeast. Yeast gives life to the flour and makes it bread. The bun refers to the Resurrection of Christ, to life. It is made in various shapes with the braid being more widespread, which during the period of paganism removed evil spirits. A red egg somewhere in the center of the bread-bun is also a common decoration.

Mageiritsa_Traditional Greek Easter Food

Mageiritsa

The soup that we traditionally eat on Holy Saturday after the Resurrection contains the entrails of the lamb that will be eaten the next day, lettuce, and various herbs, is the first meal with meat, light and digestible, to smoothly restore the stomach to its daily routine after 40 days of fasting. Nevertheless, its symbolism is hidden in the herbs that symbolize the bitter grass that the Jews ate in remembrance of their slavery by the Egyptians. Easter in Hebrew means “exit”. For Christians, Easter means the passage from death to life.

Lentil Soup_Greek Easter Food Traditions

Lentil Soup

It is the food of Good Friday, a mournful food. We may not all fast for 40 days, but on Good Friday fasting is required and the food traditionally consumed on this day is “boiled” with a lot of vinegar, and the most common dish is lentils. Vinegar is added in remembrance of what was given to Christ on the Cross instead of water. The lentils, according to tradition, symbolize the tears of the Virgin Mary.

monemvasia castle in the peloponnese

Travel to Greece in Spring

As Easter is celebrated in Spring, undoubtedly the most-awaited and anticipated season globally, we want to enrich these celebrations with travel. Spring arrives with a sudden warmth of the sun and marks the end of the winter’s stony cold breezes. The first day of spring brings many promises of happiness and prosperity, and people rejoice in their positive energy and vigor with excited hearts! This beautiful season deserves a beautiful welcome indeed and there is no other way to welcome this season than traveling to a country where Spring shines, Greece. Let us take you there! Contact one of our expert travel designers and together you can create the perfect customized Spring travel itinerary to Greece.

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