Many Orthodox churches base their Easter date on the Julian calendar, which often differs from the Gregorian calendar that is used by many Christian faiths. Therefore, the Orthodox Easter period often occurs later than the Easter period that falls around the time of the March equinox.
Like all Christian faiths leading up to Easter, the faithful fast in readiness to feast!
In the Greek Orthodox faith, the women gather to cook special dishes for the Easter celebration.
Greek Easter is a time when families and friends gather to cook, eat and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
And it is no different in our household. A hot favourite for most Greeks is Flaounes. These are Cypriot cheese-filled pastries using ground mahlepi (a Greek spice made from the stone of the St Lucie cherry) in the dough, giving a hint of almond flavour. Delicious with a filling of tangy cheese, halloumi, mint and sultanas.
There are many variations of recipes and each Greek woman boasts that hers is the best of course.
Each year we try a different twist in order to get the perfect Flaounes. This year was no exception.
With the help of a childhood friend, Katherine and my daughter Bianca, we think we might have perfected the perfect Flaounes (according to us!).
Another custom in the Orthodox Church is the use of dyed coloured eggs to symbolize the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which signifies the rebirth of all believers. The Orthodox custom is to dye Easter eggs a deep red colour. The red represents life, victory and the blood of Jesus Christ.