The Greek President, Mr. Constantine Tsatsos, celebrated the Greek O???odox easter custom of egg cracking?
SV PAN DOWN FROM festive decorations to guests at army barracks.
SV CU guardsmen roasting steaks
SV guardsmen dancing
SV President Tsatsos arrives
SV CU President cracks eggs with guardsmen and guests (3 shots)
SV More dancing watched by President Tsatsos (3 shots)
Initials RH/2300 RH/PK/MF/2309
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Background: The Greek President, Mr. Constantine Tsatsos, celebrated the Greek O???odox easter custom of egg cracking with his Presidential Guard at chair Athens barracks on Sunday (25 April).
It was only the second time that the colourful ceremony had been performed since the end of eight years of military rule.
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 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 the military rulers -- and the men they commanded. However, Greece now has a democratic way of testing the popularity of its rulers. And since the country voted out the monarchy, its now the Greek President who cracks eggs with his guardsmen.
The celebrations also included folk dances performed by the guardsmen and traditional feast of lamb roasted on a spit.
SYNOPSIS: Athens, where on Sunday for the second time since the end of eight years of military rule, Greeks celebrated the orthodox easter tradition of egg cracking. Once, the colourfully dressed soldiers were members of the Royal Guard. Now, since the end of the monarchy, it's the Presidential Guard.
Instead of military rulers, or the monarch, it was President Constantine Tsatsos who presided over the celebrations.
The ritual goes back to Byzantine times Whoever goes through the ceremony with an unbroken egg is regarded as lucky. But the ceremony was also considered a test of popularity. A bad king didn't get to crack eggs with anyone. That idea lost its significance in recent years when the crunch of eggshells was the prerogative of the Greek military rulers and the men they commanded.
Today, however, Greece once more has a democratic way of testing the popularity of its leaders. And since the Greek people voted out the monarchy, it's the elected President who cracks eggs with the guardsmen.