Tanya's Daily Scoop
Elisa's Daily Scoop
Well, how has your weekend been? What a lovely few days it has been. Sunny and mild.
Yesterday, I spent my day out on Eastern Long Island, while the days had their day of riding. It was so nice to be in the riding arena and NOT be freezing, for a change.
It was actually quite pleasant. My girls did fantabulous riding and jumping. Just so proud of them. Did I mention that they will be showing this year!! It will be their first year as equestrians, in riding shows. Very exciting.
Well, for many Orthodox Christians, today is a very special and important day.
Today, many Orthodox Christian churches, including the Greek Orthodox and the Russian Orthodox churches, celebrate the “miracle of Easter.”
This day is also known as Pascha, Easter and Easter Day.
Many Orthodox churches base their Easter date on the Julian calendar which differs from the Gregorian calendar that is used by many western countries.
The result is that the Orthodox Easter period generally occurs later than the Easter date observed by many western churches.
It is estimated that there are more than 250-300 million Orthodox Christians in the world, with about six million in North America, all of which celebrate Pascha.
Countries that officially observe the Orthodox Easter period include: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Lebanon, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine. Although not "officially" celebrated, Jordan's six percent Orthodox Christian population have petitioned the government to recognize Orthodox Easter as an official public holiday.
So, why the different in the calendar observances and therefore, the varying Easter Sundays?
According to timeanddate.com,
In 325CE the Council of Nicaea established that Easter would be held on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the March equinox. From that point forward, the Easter date depended on the ecclesiastical approximation of March 21 for the March equinox. Easter is delayed one week if the full moon is on Sunday, which decreases the chances of it falling on the same day as the Jewish Passover.
Although the Council of Nicaea established the Easter date for churches around the world, not all Christian churches observe Easter according the Gregorian calendar. Many Orthodox churches still observe Easter in accordance with the Julian calendar.
Many Orthodox Christians, including the Greek Orthodox celebrate the entire week preceding Easter Sunday with services and celebrations.
Easter Saturday is the focus of some very special traditions...
In Greece, the faithful begin to assemble in the town at around 11pm. Before midnight, the lights of the churches are put out in symbolism of the darkness that Christ had to endure as he passed through the underworld.
At midnight, a priest appears holding a lighted candle reciting the phrase “Avto to Fos”, which means “This is the light.” His candle, which is called “the Holy candle”, is used to light several of the faithfuls' candles, which in turn then light their neighbor’s candles and so on and so forth till everyone has a lit candle.
The resurrection is proclaimed at exactly midnight, and is celebrated with drums, fireworks, and church bells. Fireworks light up the sky in a majestic display.
The crowd offers the salutation “Christós Anésti” (Christ has risen) to each other, which is responded to with the phrase “Alithós Anésti” (He has truly risen).
It is no secret that both Tanya and I have Greece on our bucket list. We had originally hoped to plan a cousins trip to Sicily (the homeland!) and Greece this year. Unfortunately, my situation put a fly in the ointment and Tanya made alternative plans.
I'm crossing my fingers for next year, but we'll see.
As you can see from the map, the physical distance between Sicily and Greece is close, so it only makes sense if we are traveling in the region, that we hit both places.
Greece is located in southeastern Europe consisting of 2 mainland peninsulas and thousands of islands throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas.
It's often called the birthplace of Western civilization, and Athens, its capital, retains many ancient landmarks.
So, here are my Top 12 that I want to see while in Greece!!
1. Acropolis of Athens
The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a high rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon.
The Parthenon is a former temple on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988, The Metéora is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos.
4. Theatre of Dionysus
Prototype of Greek theatres, situated on the south side of the Acropolis in Athens, in which all extant classical Greek plays were first presented.
5. Myrtos Beach
Myrtos Beach is in the region of Pylaros, in the north-west of Kefalonia island, in the Ionian Sea of Greece. Myrtos beach lies between the feet of two mountains, Agia Dynati and Kalon Oros.
Spinalonga is a small island near Elounda in East Crete. Spinalonga is also known as the Leper Island, as that is where lepers from Crete and the rest of Greece were quarantined until 1957.
Today, it's possible to visit Spinalonga by boat from Agios Nikolaos, Elounda and Plaka, for a tour of its ruined buildings.
7. The White Tower of Thessaloniki
The White Tower of Thessaloniki is a monument and museum on the waterfront of the city of Thessaloniki, capital of the region of Macedonia in northern Greece. The Tower is the most commonly known monument of Thessaloniki and the symbol of the city because of its prominent position, long history.
8. The Temple of Olympian Zeus
The Temple of Olympian Zeus, also known as the Olympieion or Columns of the Olympian Zeus, is a colossal ruined temple in the center of the Greek capital Athens that was dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods.
Lindos is a medieval village on the island of Rhodes that is made up of a network of cobbled streets amid whitewashed houses. Above the town rises the acropolis of Lindos, offering spectacular views of the surrounding harbors and coastline.
Santorini is a volcanic island in the Cyclades group of the Greek islands. It is famous for its dramatic views, stunning sunsets, the white-washed houses, and its very own active volcano.
Mykonos Town (Chora) is a stunningly picturesque Cycladic town with a maze of tiny streets and whitewashed steps lanes. It is also known for its sandy beaches and diverse and intense nightlife with a vast number of bars and nightclubs.
12. Delphi Theatre
The ancient theatre of Delphi was built on a hill giving spectators a view of the entire sanctuary and the spectacular landscape below. It was originally built in the 4th and could seat 5,000 spectators.
In ancient times Delphi was the most important site in ancient Greek religion, home to the sanctuary and oracle of Apollo.
Folks, I'm soooo wanting to be there right now!! I've always wanted to visit Greece! I guess I'll have to settle for going to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 instead, for right now!
Have a wonderful day!!
Elisa and Tanya
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