Many Greek Easter customs interweave Christian and pre- Christian beliefs. One of these is the women’s ritual dance known as Tráta, ceremonially performed on ‘Bright Tuesday,’ the Tuesday after Easter, in Elefsína (Eleusis) and in Mégara, where this annual ritual is one of the most significant events in the village year. Women of all ages gather at the upper square, near the tiny church of ‘Saint John the Dancer’, for the ritual dance which embodies the initiatory experience and reflects key themes and patterns of the Myth of Persephone and the Mysteries of Eleusis. The Tráta is just one among many Greek Easter customs in which the light of ancient Greek mysteries shine through outwardly Orthodox Christian forms, revealing the changing layers of belief and custom which have survived here throughout history.
In Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess, edited by H. Hye-Sook Hwang and M. A. Beavis. Mago Books, 2017. Available from www.magobooks.com