Burial custom

Every year, during the next Sunday of the Orthodox Easter, people of Black Sea origin have a celebration with their deceased ones, by having lunch at the cemetery.
Photography / Text: Michael Pappas

I started from Piraeus to visit the cemetery of Schisto. This custom takes place during the next Sunday of the Orthodox Easter. 

There was a lot of traffic and it was difficult for me to find a parking spot for my car. I saw many people gathered from a distance. I went near and I say many families that had laid table cloths on the graves filled with food and drink. They were celebrating together with their deceased members. They would drink and sometimes spill some drink in the flower pots around the grave so that the deceased would also drink. I saw a lady combing the hair of her mother.

In order for me to be able to make pictures, I had to get near and talk to the people. They would always offer food and drinks to the guests. The first people poured me a Vodka shot. I couldn't drink it all up, so I thought I would spill the rest. For my bad luck, they saw me. They understood that this was the first time for me to visit the event so they told me I shouldn't be doing that because it is an offence to their deceased one. I had to either drink it all up, or I should spill the rest in the flower pots around the grave. They also told me that everyone would pour me some drink when I would visit the other graves and that I should be taking it. 

The graves that the custom was taking place were spread in a quite large radius. I went by many of them since I was very interested in the event and I had many shots of Vodka. It was difficult for me to go away after all this drinking.

I decided to stick around so I would get sober again, but when I finally decided to go, it was the time that most of the people was leaving so it took me a long time to exit the cemetery. All the cars that were parked outside the cemetery received a parking ticket by the police. 

#food #black sea #memorial #cemetery #vodka #deceased #drink


Burial custom

Unnamed Road, Viomichaniko Parko Schistou 188 63, Ελλάδα
Piraeus, Attica, Greece