High -ranking members of the Greek government and top Army officers attended ceremonies in Athens on Sunday (30 April) to mark the Greek Orthodox celebration of Easter.
MV EXT Greek President Constantine Tsatsos with wife arrives at Republican Guard barracks in Athens
MV Guests giving standing ovation
MV President Tsatsos breaking eggs with army officers (2 shots)
MV Mrs. Tsatsos breaking eggs with Republican Guard soldiers
MV President Tsatsos greeting foreign military official
MVs Republican Guards dancing in military costume (2 shots)
MVs President Tsatsos watches as Guards continue dancing (2 shots)
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Background: High -ranking members of the Greek government and top Army officers attended ceremonies in Athens on Sunday (30 April) to mark the Greek Orthodox celebration of Easter.
SYNOPSIS: For most people in Western Europe, Christmas is the main religious festival. But for the Greeks, it's Easter. The Greek President, Constantine Tsatsos, celebrated Easter at a time-honoured ceremony in the barracks of the Republica Guard in Athens. It's egg-cracking, in which eggs decorated with red pigment are smashed. It's estimated that this year, 80-million eggs were smashed to pulp by Easter celebrants.
The exact origins of the practice are lost in antiquity. It's traditional, but fun as well. A number of foreign military officials and diplomats joined President Tsatsos in the Easter celebrations -- and no Greek festival would be completer without dancing.
The smashing of red eggs, the singing and the dancing are an inseparable part of Easter in Greece. In the past, the annual Easter celebrations at the army barracks had both religious and political significance. Greek Kings and Generals would use this time of festivity and relaxation to gauge their popularity with the armed forces.