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Red Eggs & Lamb: The Delicious Traditions of Greek Orthodox Easter

Photo: Arthur Etchells

Although Easter season ended for some folks last week, Greek Orthodox Christians will be celebrating Easter this Sunday, April 24. This is because there’s a difference in calendars used by Western Christians and Orthodox Christians. The Julian Calendar, used by Greek Orthodox Christians is about 13 days longer than the Gregorian Calendar used by Western Christians.

The Easter celebrations of Greek Orthodox Christians include a delicious feast that features whole roasted lamb, red-dyed hardboiled eggs, soups, roasted potatoes and more. Yes, I’m intrigued. Yes, I’m trying to get an invite the cookout.

Below is a list of the deliciousness Greek Orthodox Christians get to enjoy when they celebrate Easter.

Ovelias

Ovelias is an Easter custom that involves a whole lamb roasted on a souvla, or spit, over an open flame.

Magiritsa

Magiritsa is traditionally the first meal after Easter service, and is a unique and hearty soup made from lamb offal.

Kokoretsi

Kokoretsi is a one of a kind grilled dish that uses lamb intestines to be wrapped around seasoned lamb offal like sweetbreads, hearts, kidneys and lungs.

Patates Lemonates

Patates lemonates are a top tier side dish that consists of roasted potatoes with ideal crispy edges that are treated to olive oil, lemon juice and oregano.

Kokkina Avga

These hardboiled eggs are a bright beacon of Greek Easter, and dually represent the blood of Christ with its red hue and rebirth, being that it’s an egg. Kokkina avga are a key aspect in a fun game called tsougrisma, where players clink and tap the ends of the red eggs in an effort to crack the other.

Tsoureki

Tsoureki is a sweet bread symbolic of the Christ’s resurrection and rebirth. The kokkina avga on top symbolizes the blood of Jesus.