Easter is the most important religious holiday in Greece. There are many customs and traditions that take place around the country, that make this time of the year unique, not only for Greeks but for travellers too. However, if you want to feel the Easter spirit while being abroad, there two important customs that you shouldn’t miss.
#1. CRACKING EASTER EGGS
Easter eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Christ, shed on the Cross, and the hard shell of the egg symbolizes the sealed Tomb of Christ—the cracking of which symbolizes his resurrection from the dead.
The Rules: The game is called tsougrisma (τσούγκρισμα in Greek) and it involves two players and red eggs. Each player holds a red egg, and one taps the end of her/his egg lightly against the end of the other player’s egg. The goal is to crack the opponent’s egg. When one end is cracked, the winner uses the same end of her/his egg to try to crack the other end of the opponent’s egg. The player who successfully cracks the eggs of the other players is declared the winner and, it is said, will have good luck during the year.
How to dye your eggs? You will need: Eggs, water, pot & red cabbage.
Put the eggs in the pot, cover them with cabbage leaves and fill the pot with water. Put the pot on the stove, in medium heat, for 23 minutes. Put them on plate and let them dry. You can decorate them with ribbons.
#2. GREEK SWEET BREAD (TSOUREKI)
Have you heard of tsoureki? Tsoureki is popular Greek sweet bread that is made during Easter.
You want to try it? Here’s our recipe:
• In a mixer: 6 eggs and 110z/310gr sugar
• Mix for 8 minutes
• Add: 2 tsp of Mahlepi and ½ tsp trimmed Mastiha
• Mix for 3 minutes
• Add: 1 Lb of flour
• Mix for 3 minutes
• Add 8fl oz/235ml of hot milk, 3 fl oz/90ml of melted butter 3fl oz/90ml
• Mix for 2 minutes
• Add 1 Lb of flour and 0.5oz/15gr of dry yeast
– Mix for 10 minutes
– Let the dough rise for 1 hour
• Shape into thick rope and then braid together
• Let rise for 45 minutes.
• Place some egg yok on top and decorate with trimmed almonds
• Bake at preheated oven 320°F/160°C for 30 to 40 minutes