Lambratzia is one of the most popular Easter customs and it takes place at Holy Saturday night. It is a bonfire lit in churchyards where an effigy of Judas is burned to condemn both his betrayal of Christ as well as any form of betrayal in our society.
The preparation of Lambratzia starts well before Holy Saturday. Teens and children scour their neighborhoods to gather scrap wood. They gather everything in the designated spot and place it in a pyramid shape. In the old days, children used to stay overnight guarding their collected wood from children of other neighborhoods who might try to steel some to add to their pile.
There is a friendly competition among neighborhoods and parishes as to who will have the biggest and most impressive Lambratzia. On top of the logs a handmade effigy of Judas is placed.
The bonfire is lit at night during the Holy Service of the Resurrection, also known as Kalos Logos, and it burns until the early hours of Easter Sunday. It is customary to throw the Martaki in the fire to burn. Martaki is the bracelet made of white and red threats that people wear from the 1st of March until Easter.