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What is Bright Week?

Bright Week, also known as Renewal Week or Pascha Week, (Λαμπρή Εβδομάδα"Lambri Evdomáda" in Greek) is a significant period in the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition that follows the celebration of Easter Sunday. It spans the week immediately following Easter and is characterized by a continuation of the joy and festivity of the Resurrection.

During Bright Week, Orthodox Christians commemorate the triumph of Christ over death and celebrate the promise of new life and salvation. The name "Bright Week" reflects the radiant and joyful atmosphere of this time, as believers rejoice in the victory of Christ's Resurrection. Throughout Bright Week, the Church emphasizes the themes of renewal, rebirth, and redemption. Services are filled with hymns of praise and thanksgiving, and the faithful participate in various liturgical celebrations that highlight the significance of Christ's victory over sin and death.

Easter Monday, known as "Δευτέρα του Πάσχα" (Deftera tou Pascha) or "Δευτέρα του Λαμπρού" (Deftera tou Lamproú) in Greek, is a public holiday in Greece. It is traditionally marked by outdoor picnics, family outings, and games. In some regions, there are also special customs such as the cracking of red-dyed Easter eggs, symbolizing the breaking of Christ's tomb.Throughout Bright Week, fasting is suspended, and the faithful are encouraged to partake in festive meals and gatherings with family and friends. Traditionally, people indulge in a variety of traditional Easter dishes, including lamb, magiritsa (a soup made from lamb offal), tsoureki (sweet Easter bread), and dyed Easter eggs.

One distinctive feature of Bright Week is the practice of the "Paschal Greeting," in which believers greet one another with the joyful proclamation, "Christ is Risen!" (in Greek: Χριστός Ανέστη!"Christós Anésti!") The response to this greeting is "Truly, He is Risen!" (in Greek: Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!"Alithós Anésti!"), affirming the truth of Christ's Resurrection. Bright Week is also a time of spiritual reflection and renewal for Orthodox Christians. It is a time to deepen their faith, seek forgiveness, and recommit themselves to living in accordance with the teachings of Christ. In many Greek towns and villages, especially in rural areas, Bright Week is celebrated with outdoor festivities, including music, dancing, and traditional folk performances. Villagers may gather in the town square or local tavernas to enjoy live music, traditional Greek dances like the syrtos and kalamatianos, and other cultural activities.

Overall, Bright Week serves as a continuation and extension of the Easter celebration, allowing Orthodox Christians to bask in the glow of Christ's Resurrection and experience the transformative power of His victory over death.


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