Paschal blessings to you and your loved ones from the Paleologos family.

We celebrate Easter a week later than the rest of the Christian world. That's okay because the stuffed animals and Easter candies are discounted 75 percent. But there's another real joy that's honored. Aside from Greek Easter customs like roasted lamb, homemade sweet bread baked with colored eggs inside and chocolate bunnies, one of the most celebrated traditions is a game of cracking red Easter eggs around the festive dinner table.

Why do Greeks crack red eggs at Easter? Because the holiday has a solid foundation in both the church and in old customs passed down. On every dinner table, there are hard-boiled Easter eggs that have been dyed a vibrant red. The egg inside the shell represents Jesus inside the tomb following his crucifixion. The tradition of using only red dye dates back to Mesopotamia and is symbolic of the blood that Christ shed on the cross. When Christ rose from the dead, the boulder was rolled away and the egg being cracked is representative of Jesus emerging from the tomb.

The friendly contest starts by choosing an egg and someone to play against. Hit one end of your egg to one end of their egg. Turn the egg over to the other end and repeat. If both ends of your egg are cracked, you're out. If you have one end that's not smashed in, crack it against someone else who has one end left undamaged until you get down to the person who is the last one to have an undamaged end is the winner!

As you can imagine, for days after Greek Easter, the Paleologos family has plenty of tasty egg salad.

May you and your family enjoy your own customs and traditions and be blessed and protected during this Paschal season.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos.The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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