Dear friend of Ikaria, Last Sunday, May 1st, we celebrated our Orthodox Easter. No matter what your religion is, you will find our custom of “Mnimosino”, or “Memorial”, quite interesting. On Easter Day we honor the deceased persons in our families … The custom dates back a long time and finds its origin in poor times, when food wasn't as plenty as it is today and not all the villagers had food on their tables. On Easter Day, or better at “Mnimosino”, those that had a fairly good financial health, would offer meat, bread and wine to their family and their fellow villagers. It was a way ‘to honor the deceased’, but it was also a way to offer all the villagers a good feast.The menu existed of boiled goat’s meat, soup and bread. In more recent years they also added roasted goat to the menu. The villagers would cook the meal in the town halls close to the church and then they would share that meal to all the villagers and visitors of the village. Every family was taking the share according to the family members and visitors they had in each house. Nowadays the tradition of “Mnimosino” still exists and villagers and friends are gathering and have lunch all together outside the church (or inside the town halls). Of course I was at a Mnimosino on Easter Day. I took three foreigner friends with me, i think they really enjoyed themselves.
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Mazari G. Eleni