Greek Easter Traditions || Sweets


Easter in Greece: the Food

While counting down to Easter Sunday, Greek households are filled with delicious smells of traditional delicacies just before the Holy Week. The feverish baking of ´´Lazarakia´´ and ´´Tsoureki´´ are two things that you can never miss from a Greek table on the Saturday of Lazarus and on Holy Thursday. But let’s see in more detail what exactly these customs are as well as the symbolisms behind them.

Greek Easter biscuits – Lazarakia

Baking Lazarakia – Λαζαράκια

One week before Greek Easter, Greek families and especially the women bake their Lazarakia. On the Saturday of Lazarus, these human-shaped little biscuits are molded by the women and they represent Lazarus to honor his soul. Some Greek households also prefer to add small legs while each ‘Lazaraki’ or ‘Lazaroudi’ never misses its eye-clove and crossed hands. In combination with various spices, the house is full of a very particular sweet smell. And as the saying goes “Λάζαρο, αν δεν πλάσεις, ψωμί δεν θα χορτάσεις” meaning that if you don’t make Lazarakia, you won’t feel full of bread.

The art of Tsoureki- Τσουρέκι

Coming from the Turkish word ´corek´, the actual Greek version is ´lambropsomo´ which means bright bread or the bread of Easter, of Lambri. It is a symbol of Jesus´ resurrection as the flour turns to bread, symbolizing the gift of life. Deriving from pagan roots, the braids stand for the banishment of evil spirits. Tsoureki is one of the most time-consuming cooking recipes. But it is really worth the trouble as it is one of the most tasteful sweetbreads for little Greeks and older Greeks alike.

Did the story of Tsoureki and Lazarakia give you an appetite?  Well, maybe it’s about time you started baking! Greek Easter is almost here!

Read about more Greek traditions here .

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