In Athens, the road to Pascha is lined with candle-filled windows. Lambadas are traditional Easter gifts for children to be used on Holy Great Saturday to receive the Holy Light from Jerusalem. The modern lambada is sometimes beautiful, oft-times a tacky amalgam of tulle and Happy Meal toys that appeal to the individual child. You can find them being sold in the supermarket for around €5 or in boutiques and specialty shops for anywhere from €10-€50, the latter being more toy than candle, sometimes with full sized dolls or action figures.
They do come in the more somber variety as I found while at an exhibition at the Zappeion Building in the National Gardens. These are hand painted with the phrase “Christos Anesti” meaning “Christ has Risen” and decorated with beads and silver charms. One can find them in kiosks that go up outside of churches as Easter draws near.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Athens around the time of Easter, the lambada is something special you can pick up, regardless of your religion. One important note now that you’ve reached the end: go back and reread making sure to pronounce the “d” with a “th” as in “the” so as not to confuse the tradition with a Brazilian dance made popular in the ’80’s.