The portions are big. Lamb from the rotating grill. Potatoes. Salad. One kilo of red house wine. We had booked our table at 10 o’clock in the evening. Only a few people in the restaurant at this time, too early for most to eat. Many of the restaurants do not open until midnight this particular night.
It is Greek Easter. “Kalo paska!”. People, carrying long candles, fill up the Church of Three Bishops in Skiathos Town, then start to fill up the square outside the church. A small choir is singing inside the church, the sound being spread into the square by the outside loud speakers. I recognize one of my Greek friends in the choir. The singing is captivating, goes on for one hour, sounds almost like Indian mantras. More and more people gather outside the church, filling the square and the small narrow streets leading to this Greek Orthodox Church.
Then at midnight the light becomes bright inside the church, a procession lead by priests come out into the square, followed by people with lit candles. The light from the burning candles are spread from one person to another, from one candle to another. Soon the whole square is lit up, people hug and greet each other, wish each other a good coming year. The priests hold a mass in the middle of the square. Loud fire crackers in the background. Finally, after the church service, big fireworks spread across the sky.
It is almost one o’clock in the morning. People stream into the restaurants. The fast is over. Now it is time to eat. Now it is time to celebrate. Lamb. Wine. The problems of tomorrow are for tomorrow. Enjoy the night, live in the present. More food, more wine, more ouzo…..
A night to remember….