Easter for the Greek Orthodox faith is the year’s biggest festival, but hard times are putting the damper on celebrations and hard-pressed consumers are finding ways to save money at every opportunity.
The faithful are flocking into churches but traders would like it if they were flocking to the
markets as they did in the past. Easter Sunday marks the end of forty days of fasting, and is normally the occasion for a big family blowout. But people are buying less of everything after six years of recession, and with Europe’s highest unemployment.
“When prices are affordable, people would shop. The quality in our market is excellent and the prices are low and people come to shop. Due to the economic crisis however, they don’t buy large quantities,” says one butcher.
Greeks say they are determined to celebrate Easter properly, but when even the price of devotional candles is offputting and strains the family budget, this year may be a quieter affair.
“For the Greek Orthodox faith, the Easter message of the resurrection of Christ symbolizes the prospect of change towards a better life. After six years of economic hardship this message has become more symbolic than ever for the Greek people,” says euronews’ Stamatis Giannisis.