Samstag, April 07, 2007

Christos Anesti!*

A few years ago** we hosted a Greek high school student for her senior year in high school in the US. Katerina (actually Ekatarini) came complete with a year's supply of Greek pomace oil (the kind of olive oil that's best for cooking), and a bubbly personality that left our staid, Northern European-background family behind in the dust.

And she dyed all the Easter eggs red.

I was puzzled at the time, but now it's gotten to be a habit to dye at least some of them red.

The year that Katarina lived with us, we went to a whole weekend of interesting events at the Greek Orthodox Church in New Orleans, where we were living at the time. They have processions, candles, chanting, singing, feasts, and red Easter eggs.

Since moving to Utah we have gone several times to the midnight service at one or the other of the two Greek Orthodox churches we know of in the area. I love it, and I love it best in Greek. One year we went with Russian friends, so we went to the newer church that has its service mostly in English. That year was exciting because when our friend Masha tried to exit the pew to kiss the priest's ring and get her red egg, her candle ignited her hair,*** which is very curly; and she has a lot of it. Traditionally you're supposed to keep your candle burning until morning, but once Masha was extinguished we did the same to the candles. It seemed as if we had already had our luck, and the smell of Masha's hair on the ride home in the car kept reminding us.

But on the whole, I love the Greek Easter customs we inherited from Katerina, and I love Greek Easter egg dye.****

The band across the middle of the egg says "DYE" and the little banner the bird is holding says "5 colors." The only word I understand at the top right is "eggs." Obviously I didn't ever learn much Greek.

Look what it does to yarn:

OK, Tina, you do not need to move over. While I did remember to pre-soak the skeins this time, I forgot to untwist them. This is why I got tie-dyed yarn instead of solids. Oh well. This yarn is so scratchy***** that I think all I can use it for is a felted cat bed.

* Christ is risen! Sorry I don't know how to get my computer to do Greek letters.
** Quite a few; I think Katerina is 32 now.
*** Masha had this happen once before in Russia when she was a child; she said she thought she was having an angelic vision because she was suddenly surrounded in light; but then it turned out it was just her hair on fire.
**** If you have any kind of Greek community in your area, there will be a Greek market that sells this. Supposedly it comes in other colors, but I've never seen anything other than red. Last year I cheated by purchasing my dye from an Italian market. All the eggs came out hot pink. So this year I drove the extra miles to get the authentic stuff. Voila! Red!
***** It is organic Cornish wool from Bodmin Moor. I assume that it is scratchy due to the breed of sheep they raise there, since I can't imagine that organic processing would make it harsh.


Terri hat gesagt…

That red is gorgeous! We do not celebrate Easter, but we do dye and hide eggs. The kids do not live in a vaccuum, they want to hunt for eggs. I will take the time to find the Greek stuff next year. WOW

Margene hat gesagt…

The Red is gorgeous! I miss the Greek Easter celebrations we had with a long ago neighbor. Oh that fresh Q-ed lamb!

Lynn hat gesagt…

*Gorgeous* eggs. I also commented on your "knitting in church" post.

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