The bizarre Greek tradition of egg-cracking, part of the Orthodox Easter celebrations, continues to flourish despite changes of government.
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Background: The bizarre Greek tradition of egg-cracking, part of the Orthodox Easter celebrations, continues to flourish despite changes of government. On Sunday (May 4), for the first time following eight years of military rule, the ceremony received a new democratic lease of life.
Traditionally, the old Byzantine custom demanded that once a year Greek monarchs smashed eggs with members of the armed forces. Anyone holding an egg that remained unbroken was considered to be lucky. But the ceremony was also considered a test of popularity. A bad monarch didn't get to crack eggs with anyone.
In recent years, of course, the crunch of eggshells was the prerogative of military rulers -- and the men they commanded.
But now Greece has a new, democratic way to testing the popularity of its rulers. And since the country voted out the monarchy, it was the interim head of state, President Michael Presidential Guard this weekend.
Celebrations in Athens also included folk dance performed by guardsmen and a traditional feast of lamb roasted on a spit.