As Americans, that are 100% proud to be Greek, we make sure that we celebrate and continue to practice Greek traditions in our home. Those who practice Orthodox traditions have been fasting for the last forty days where no meat, dairy, or eggs are consumed. All of the dishes are made to resemble a vegan diet.
In the U.S. it might be a little harder to do this and some folks might eat some dairy or eggs but will omit meat almost following a vegetarian.
The Meat is on!
But what happens when those forty days are over? It’s time to roast the Whole Lamb over an open fire in the yard of your Yia-Yia’s house and have the Kokoretsi cooked at the same time. Because the lamb and kokoretsi are slow roasted for several hours, prepare to get up early in the morning to get everything together for dinner time.
Since Greeks use every part of the lamb that isn’t roasted, we make a delicious traditional Greek Easter soup called Magiritsa. Depending on where you live in Greece, some may not use the organs instead they use lamb heads, eggs, and lemon stock with other herbs.
Family and Friends help with Greek Traditions
You can prepare the Tsoureki and Koulourakia ahead of time and involve the family and friends. It’s great to see family members come together to decorate Paschal Red Easter Eggs. We were lucky to have Elena’s sister help with the Paschal Eggs and our neighbor, Pappou Apostoli help make the Koulourakia cookies.
Lambada candles can be decorated in a traditional style or unique for the children in the family. If you need decorating ideas, you can go to Pinterest for lots of ideas or have someone else decorate the candles. Since Godparents give this gift, candles are custom-decorated for the children.
Where ever you celebrate Greek Easter, whether it’s in Greece or here in the U.S., we want to say, Christos Anesti and Alithos Anesti!