Lazarus Saturday in Greece

English Language Study for Russian Orthodox Learners

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There are interesting cultural traditions in Greece for celebrating Lazarus Saturday.  On Friday night, women prepare special bread with spices (специи).  The bread is called Lazarakia.  It does not contain eggs or milk.  The shape of the bread symbolizes the wrapping of Lazarus’ shroud.   

Little children carry baskets decorated with flowers.  They go from door to door singing hymns and songs about the arrival (приход) of Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday.  Lazarus sleeps, and the children ask him to rise.  For their singing, people give them money, and eggs for the coming Easter.  Many people in Greece live in villages and have their own hens, so the baskets get quickly filled with fresh eggs.  

The children do not keep the money and eggs for themselves but bring them to their priest.