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The Tradition of Lazarakia

The Tradition of Making Lazarakia

We make Lazarakia, or little Lazarus breads, to honor the miracle of resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  It is a tradition that began in Cyprus because after his resurrection, Lazarus traveled to Cyprus and became the first bishop there.  These little Lenten breads, or cookies, are made in the shape of a man with his arms crossed and eyes decorated with cloves, to look like Lazarus wrapped in his funeral shroud.  Some Lazarakia have his legs bound together while other traditions cut a split to create legs that represent St Lazarus walking out of his tomb. While we are making the Lazarakia, there is a traditional song to sing:

Lazarus was in the tomb four days,
when Jesus came and to the Father prayed.


‘Lazarus, come forth!’ he said,
The Lord whom the five thousand fed.


Then Lazarus arose and many were in fear.

Let everyone with ears now hear.


We sing a second song after the Lazarakia are done baking:


Where were you Lazarus,
Where was your voice?

Your mother and your sisters
Were looking for you.

"I was in the Earth
Deep in the Earth buried.

And among the dead
Among the dead I tarried.

(Raise your Lazarakia in the air)
Along came Christ and
resurrected me!
Along came Christ and
resurrected me!
Along came Christ and
resurrected me!
Posted by Fr Theofanis Katsiklis at 6:00 AM
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