At midnight tomorrow night, the bells on Greek Orthodox churches (actually, all Orthodox churches) will begin to ring and the congregations will commence to transmit the flame of light from one paschal candle to another while chanting “Kristos anesti” (Christ is risen). The Easter liturgy for 2022 will start; continuing a tradition that began almost 2,000 years ago.
Afterwards, the congregants will exchange the greeting “Kala Pascha” (good Easter)! While sharing best wishes, they will hold red-dyed eggs in the palm of their hand tapping the eggs of others, in the attempt to crack open the shells of every egg they encounter and emerge with their own egg unscathed and intact!
Everyone then hurries home for the opening of gifts, the devouring of the Easter breakfast and the mad rush to crawl into bed before sunrise! The Easter feast begins at 4:30 p.m., on Sunday afternoon! Of course, all are completely famished by the time that comes to pass!
Of course, the family gathering is sparse for us. Aaron, my spouse, and I will host Twin (Alex) and his partner Dante, and our first cousin, Michael Poladopoulos and his soon-to-be spouse, Ropati. The remainder of our families all reside in Greece so we do the best that we can to ensure that Easter is a memorable event.
All of us are bare practitioners so there is most definitely a hasty drive from St. Sophia’s Cathedral in northwest Washington, D.C., to our condominium in Arlington, Virginia. We’ll all need to remove our church attire – pronto! Aaron and I have a one bedroom unit, therefore, space is limited. Fortunately, clothing concerns are not an issue for any of us! We avoid a grooming disaster by shaving/showering as a couple and not individually.
Everyone plans on arriving this afternoon (Friday). In making the Lambropsomo (Easter Bread), we use ya-ya’s (paternal grandmother’s) recipe which both Alex and Michael (as well as myself) own. My culinary skills are nonexistent; however, I do posses the handmade wooden rising bowl that belonged to ya-ya’s mother (our great-grandmother). It is an antique. The Lambropsomo is an eighteen hour process so preparation starts tonight. Ropati has no interest in baking so the two of us plan to play backgammon (tavloo) while the remainder work in our kitchen. As my Aaron so aptly determined: “We’ll keep the R’s (Roger and Ropati) out of our space so we can handle (complete) our business (cooking)!” Rest assured, Ropati and I both intend to comply with those wishes!
I don’t know for certain if Ropati’s kitchen skills are as poor as mine – however, as long as the majority of our guests are content with the food preparation, I am content to accede to their every desire and need! Too many in our tiny kitchen space can only create chaos, confusion and disaster!
Our Easter Sunday plans are to be laid back and relaxed for most of the day. With the bulk of the meal preparation completed in advance, our 4:30 p.m., dinner will be followed by our guests departing for their homes. Aaron and I prefer doing our own clean-up after the meal as our time to “calm” after a condominium full of family for the entire weekend. Monday is a full day at work for the both of us!
And a very depressing thought: almost all of my fellow professors at university observed Western Easter the week before. Their holiday recovery is very complete! I have yet to go through the motions!
Kala Pascha to everyone!
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Monday, April 25, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “April Appeal: Fantasy!”