Eggs are often made in very large quantities since the game continues on the next day with more friends and family. At dawn (or earlier) on Easter Sunday, the spits are set to work, and grills are fired up. The customary main attraction of the day is whole roasted lamb or goat (kid) to represent the Lamb of God, however many prefer oven and stovetop lamb or kid dishes. Ovens are filled with traditional accompaniments and all the trimmings. Great Greek wines, ouzo, and other drinks flow freely, and preparations for the meal turn into festive celebrations even before the eating begins. These high-spirited gatherings often last long into the night. Another national holiday, Easter Monday, is a day to take things slowly, and certainly a day filled with delicious leftovers!
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Greek Orthodox Easter Traditions
Easter preparations begin on Holy Thursday when the traditional Easter bread, tsoureki, is baked, and eggs are dyed red which symbilizes life and it is a representation of the blood of Christ. From ancient times, the egg has been a symbol of the renewal of life, and the message of the red eggs is victory over death. In times gone by, superstitions grew into customs that included placing the first-dyed red egg at the home's iconostasis (a place where icons are displayed) to ward off evil, and marking the heads and backs of small lambs with the red dye to protect them. Holy Thursday evening, church services include a symbolic representation of the crucifixion, and the period of mourning begins. In many villages - and in cities as well - women will sit in church throughout the night, in traditional mourning. The holiest day of Holy Week is Holy Friday. It is a day of mourning, not of work (including cooking). It...