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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-04-27

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Politicians visit troops on Easter Sunday
  • [02] PASOK leader's Easter message
  • [03] Greek Orthodox Easter
  • [04] Composer Tokas dies

  • [01] Politicians visit troops on Easter Sunday

    President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias is spending Easter at the village of Frangades in Ioannina, northwestern Greece. Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is also in Ioannina with his family. During his visit to the Sagiada guard post on Easter Sunday, President Papoulias expressed his wishes for "peace in the Balkans." He stressed that "the peoples of the region should live peacefully and cooperate and open their future without the intervention from third parties, foreign forces." He later visited the Filiata military camp in Thesprotia. Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Easter Sunday visited the Drymada guard post on the Greek-Albanian border and expressed "the need for the unity and solidarity of the Greeks in a difficult period for the whole world." He added that "we can give and win the difficult battles and make reality our common visions."

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou remained at home in the northern Athens suburb of Kastri, following the bicycle accident he had the previous Sunday.

    PASOK Secretary Yiannis Ragoussis in statements said that ?the message of the Resurrection is a message of life, hope and optimism.?

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga celebrated Easter with the troops at the Tanks Training Centre in Avlona, Attica.

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synapismos) leader Alexis Tsipras is spending Easter in Vienna, while the head of the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), Alekos Alavanos, is on the island of Tinos.

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) leader George Karatzaferis attended the Resurrection service at Litohoro, Pieria. At noon on Easter Sunday he visited the XXIV Tanks Brigade.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    [02] PASOK leader's Easter message

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou in a message expressed the wish that "this Easter will be a transition to a better life for all." "I wish from the depth of my heart that the Resurrection of Christ brings to all Greeks, Greece and to Hellenism of the diaspora, love, health and happiness. Easter for us Greeks is of particular importance. It symbolises the passing to light, the resurrection of hopes. Hope constitutes a crucial dimension and a motivating force of every people," Papandreou said. He also noted that Greeks, "despite the difficulties they have to face, each one separately and all together, hope and are active for a better Greece, with more potential and prospects for all the citizens and particularly for the youth, for a life with justice and dignity."

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou.

    [03] Greek Orthodox Easter

    Greek Easter, the country's most important religious festival, arrives accompanied by the smells of spring, the rebirth of nature and the flower-carpeted ground. Many of the traditions that bond the generations together occur during the Easter feast. Easter is the most sacred and celebrated of all of the Greek holidays.

    It begins with a 40-day fast, of the 40 days, one week is chosen for the complete fast, during that time only natural foods are eaten. No meats, dairy, fish, poultry or dishes that are prepared with these foods can be eaten. Shellfish can be eaten, however three days a week are meatless days during the remaining weeks of the fast. During Holy Week complete fasting takes place.

    Palm Sunday, which is the first day of the Holy Week, is a day when only fish and fish courses are served.

    On Saturday before Easter, the food that will be served on Easter Sunday is taken to the church and blessed by the priest.

    The red eggs for just after the Resurrection and the traditional Resurrection soup, "mageritsa," is the wife's first concern, and her preparations begin early in the Holy Week.

    That preparation means the cleaning and decoration of the house, the baking of the Easter biscuits and bread and the dyeing of the eggs.

    During Holy Week the churches are full each evening as the people follow, once more the Passion of Our Lord. Then at midnight on the Saturday the bells ring out joyfully: the faithful, candles lit, celebrate the Resurrection.

    The meal afterwards consists of the "mageritsa," the red eggs are knocked and the traditional phrase "Christ is risen" is heard all around the table.

    On Easter Sunday, spit-roast lamb is the centerpiece of the table. In the early morning the spits turn in the courtyards and under the shady trees as the lamb "kokoretsi" is slowly cooked, and the aroma of the roasting lamb wafts from one end of Greece to the other.

    Here are some of the most delicious recipes of Greek Easter. Dishes with plenty of green salads particularly lettuce, which in Greece is in season at Easter, lots of good red wine or retsina.

    If you get a chance to celebrate Easter in Greece, do not pass it up; it means song, dance and "Kefl" around the fire pit as the spit slowly revolves cooking the lamb.

    [04] Composer Tokas dies

    Renowned Greek Cypriot music composer Marios Tokas passed away at dawn on Easter Sunday after a battle with cancer for about nine months. Marios Tokas was born in Limassol, Cyprus.

    He studied music from a young age and in Athens he studied Philology at the National Kapodistria University.

    He started his composing career at secondary school.

    He came to Greece in 1975 and observed Philology lessons and at the same time composed.

    He was married with three children.


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