Easter, West and East by Laura Shannon

Beyond Easter bunnies and eggs. Easter through a lens that sees connections to traditions from antiquity that have resisted erasure; connections to the contemporary search for life in the face of so much death; connections to the feminine presence and energy in relation to faith in the resurrection. Thank you, Laura Shannon.

Laura ShannonWestern Easter has come and gone, and I missed it this year, by design. I went to Athens for the weekend, where Easter this year won’t come until May 1. In the Greek Orthodox Church, Easter is reckoned differently, so that sometimes (like next year) Easter falls on the same date in both faiths and sometimes (like now) the celebrations are several weeks apart.

In contrast to the UK, where Easter now seems to be mostly about chocolate, Easter in Greece is the main festival of the Christian year, much more important than Christmas. Throughout the Lenten period, fasting foods – ‘nistisimo’ – are available everywhere (heaven for vegan visitors).

And many Greek Easter customs intertwine Christian and pre-Christian beliefs, revealing the changing layers of belief and custom here throughout history.

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