Laval Greeks prepare for their big day

By Robin Della Corte

The Greek community of Laval has been preparing and celebrating since last week for their Easter that will take place this Sunday.

The Greek Orthodox Easter which celebrates Pascha—Jesus’ resurrection—will fall on May 5. However, celebrations already started on April 27 and will continue until May 6.

“Every year we have the same events,” Christina Mamolos secretary of Holy Cross church in Laval said. “It’s always a huge success, especially from Holy Saturday through Easter Sunday: when it gets near midnight, the streets are filled.”

The celebration of Easter for the Greek community will also end the Lenten fasting that began Feb. 19, when devout Greeks last ate meat, and Feb. 26 the last day they could consume dairy products. Since then, they have only eaten fruit and vegetables such as lentils and beans.

Some of the celebrations they observe during the two week span are Palm Sunday, which took place last Sunday the Last Supper, May 2; the Descent to Hades, May 4; culminating in St. George day, May 6, when people with the name of George or Georgia can celebrate their names.

Throughout the week, Greek Orthodox churches will accompany these festivities with additional services and hymns.

On Easter Day, marking the end of Lent, Greek community members will traditionally eat lamb with family and friends.

The city released a statement regarding the festivities, reminding Laval residents that during the Greek Easter “it is strictly prohibited to use [fireworks] without obtaining Laval fire department permission beforehand.”

It noted that although fireworks can be purchased legally in Laval, these precautions help to ensure neighbors’ safety and decrease the risk of fire.

“We don’t want people getting hurt on these important days,” Mamolos said. “The church would be penalized in that event.” However, Mamolos stated that every year, fewer and fewer people use fireworks to celebrate.

“Every year it’s a success,” said Helenic Community of Greater Montreal spokesperson Fotis Komborozos. “Easter is most important for those of Greek origin.”

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