Easter at home
It has been hanging over our heads like an invisible threat for weeks now. It has affected every part of human activity and it looks like this year’s Easter will be a completely different affair. It is increasingly looking like we will not be going to church, taking trips to any villages, or playing the traditional Easter games. But there’s nothing to say that we cannot celebrate Easter, albeit in a different way. Besides, there are so many other customs that can bring Easter into our home.
For a start, you can’t have Easter without flaounes. Get all the ingredients you will need to make your own flaounes, which is a creative way to spend some of that spare time. It is the ultimate Easter dish and is usually consumed on Easter Saturday, following the night of the Resurrection. You may have to watch the Resurrection mass on TV this year, but the Easter spread doesn’t have to be affected; and in addition to flaounes, you can also prepare magiritsa, lamb and red eggs.
The custom of cracking eggs symbolises the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and goes back centuries; back when eggs used to be dyed with natural colours. If you want to be more creative this year, instead of using red dye, you could use onions. Boil the eggs in a pot filled with onion peels. Alternatively, try boiling them with beetroots. To get a more vibrant colour, use eggs with white shells.
Another Easter favourite is the tsoureki, a sweet Easter bread. It is relatively easy to make and you can get your children to help and enjoy some creative time with them. You can create various patterns, but of course the most popular one is a braid. So, make some space on your counter, get all the necessary ingredients together – eggs, fresh milk, sugar, butter, mahlab, grated mastic, yeast and flour – and let your inner chef get to work. Chocolate lovers can make a chocolate Babka, which is a Hebrew tsoureki filled with merenda and pieces of chocolate. It is delicious and without doubt will be loved by the whole family.
In a further bid to get in the spirit of the days, you can decorate your own Easter candles. Get some ribbon, chord, beads or use any other materials you have at home and make your own creations.
After the family dinner on Easter Sunday or Monday, try playing some of the traditional Easter games on your veranda or in your back yard, such as egg races or rope jumping. If the mood is right, Easter at home may not be so bad after all!