Background: The informant is a 75 year old female. She grew up in Illinois, attending both high school and college in the state. Her parents were immigrants from Greece and she grew up in a predominantly Greek neighborhood. Her religion was Greek Orthodox which is where she picked up many different traditions.
Context: Upon calling for Easter, the informant was in the middle of dying eggs, but she gave multiple examples of what is good luck for Greek.
MC: A tradition I used to do in the Greek Orthodox Church when I was younger was that a yeast cake would be made. Sometimes people would put eggs around the cake, to symbolize Easter, but that wasn’t always the case. However, there was a very important step when baking the cake. In the dough was placed a single coin. Then after the midnight mass, we would be cutting up the cake, and whoever gets the gold coin would be given good luck for the rest of the year. We had many traditions giving luck.
Informant: She is very proud of her culture and traditions, and is especially happy that the Greeks have many traditions for good luck.
Mine: The ending statement stands out and brings up the question as to why there would be so many traditions surrounding good luck, especially for the Greeks. It could be that since civilization has been around for so long, they have undoubtedly faced many hardships, and by focusing on good luck rituals, it allows for a more optimistic view on the world, rather than focusing on the past. Additionally, the two most notable good luck Greek traditions surround Easter, the red egg and the coin in the egg. The hope coming along with Jesus’s resurrection may help contribute to an overall feeling of good luck.
To see another variation, Stanonis, A. J. & Wallace, R. (2018). Tasting New Orleans: How the Mardi Gras King Cake Came to Represent the Crescent City. 6–23.