Bethanie Mitchell

Documentary Photographer
   Kyriaki Tou Pascha by Bethanie Mitchell  
Kyriaki Tou Pascha
Location: Seattle,Washington
Nationality: American
Biography: Bethanie Mitchell is an documentary photographer, visual journalist, educator, and author currently residing in Seattle, Washington. She has long been interested in colonialism, conflict, insurgency, and non-state actors. These interests compelled... MORE
Public Story
Kyriaki Tou Pascha
Copyright Bethanie Mitchell 2022
Date of Work Apr 2019 - Apr 2018
Updated Dec 2019
Location Athens, Greece
Topics Belief, Documentary, Editorial, Essays, Faith, pascha, Photography, Religion, Spirituality
At St. Nikolas Church in Athens, Greece, a community near the Acropolis gathers to celebrate the last day of lent. In Greece, the culmination of Megali Evdomada (the week before the final celebration) Kyriaki Tou Pascha (Orthodox Easter) is the most important holiday of the year; more important than Christmas. Greek Orthodox churches follow the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar; hence, Orthodox Easter is celebrated a week later than most other western countries.

The service lasts for hours, and just before midnight all lights are turned off, representing Christ’s death. At midnight, the priest lights a candle, which represents the holy flame. He then announces that Christ has risen. Parishioners light their candles off the priests and then share their flame with others. What is unique about the holy flame in Greece, is that a priest from the Greek Orthodox Church has brought a candle lit from the Church of the Holy Grave in Jerusalem. The initial flame is then shared throughout Greece on the last day of lent. After the flame filled celebration, Greeks break lent and have a huge feast at midnight.
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Kyriaki Tou Pascha by Bethanie Mitchell
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