Easter Sunday is spent preparing and devouring a whole lamb on a spit. Cooking the lamb is men’s work. They dig a pit and start a charcoal fire early on Easter morning, and then turn the animal slowly over coals for hours. If you don’t have a garden, it’s also a tradition to roast a lamb and kokoretsi in the oven. You may even see some Athenian women carrying their full baking trays to the local bakery.
The Easter celebrations begin early. Men gather round the spit to ‘supervise’, while the women are busy making salads and meze, setting the table with a bowl of crimson-dyed eggs. The festivities last until well after sunset, often with dancing as the full day of drinking wine and high spirits takes effect.
In Athens, there are plenty of restaurants where you’ll be able to enjoy a traditional Easter meal, whether a bowl of tripe soup after the midnight service or a full-blown Sunday lunch. Usually, the best way to find the right place is simply to follow your nose.