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Discovering Easter traditions among Greeks, Armenians and Quebecers

Easter traditions vary from culture to culture. Each one has its own special way of approaching and celebrating this special moment, which is most often spent with the family. Let’s take a look at the differences between Greek, Armenian and Quebec Easter traditions.

Brioche decorated with eggs, a Greek Easter tradition

Passover in Greece

The first nuance is in the spelling of the word Passover, which is left in the singular, since the Greeks refer to the feast of Passover rather than to Easter feasts. A very important tradition in Greece is that of red-dyed eggs, which takes place on Holy Thursday at the end of Lent. We’re also talking about Red Thursday. This color refers to the blood of the sacrificed Christ. Red eggs are a very important symbol for the Orthodox. They are then eaten on Saturday evening, once the announcement of the Resurrection has been fulfilled. As a prelude, of course, we’ll have taken care to shock them as tradition dictates, and to celebrate the lucky man who manages to keep his egg intact. On Easter night, it’s customary to eat Mayeritsa, a traditional soup made with lettuce and lamb offal. On Easter Sunday, the Passover lamb is roasted and eaten by all. There’s also the traditional Easter brioche, carefully decorated with red eggs.

Easter among the Armenians

Easter has a special significance for Armenians. Their Orthodox tradition of red eggs is also very dear to them. Easter is a very special time of sharing for Armenians, who often organize games with dyed eggs. They also light candles or lanterns to spread light around the home. The Resurrection of Christ is particularly highlighted by the evening mass preceding Easter, and is generally the climax that brings the mystery of Christ’s Passion to a close. The traditional meal is rice pilaf with dried grapes, fish and vegetables.

Easter celebrations in Quebec

While Easter lamb is very popular in Europe, this is not necessarily the case in Quebec, where ham is the preferred choice. This tradition originated with the Celts, who worshipped the pig as a god. In Quebec, the pig is also considered a lucky sign. Quebecers are renowned for caring a great deal about their elders, so it’s extremely important to them that Easter can be celebrated in retirement homes. Particular care is therefore taken to ensure that seniors living in residence can make the most of this unique moment. The Easter bunny is widely honored in Quebec culture, as are egg decorations and baby chicks that symbolize new life. Easter generally runs from Good Friday to Easter Monday, and while these two days are traditionally public holidays in Canada, this is not always the case in Quebec, where employers generally give one of the two days off. In any case, Easter is a time that Quebecers love to spend with their families over a good meal, while their children mischievously scan the chocolate bunnies on the table.