Easter in Greece
Greece is mostly known as a summer destination but when this not possible rest assured that there are numerous occasions for you to visit the country. One of these is the Easter period which is unlike any other and probably the most important celebration for Greeks, with lots of special traditions and family gatherings all over the country.
Different regions in Greece have their own special traditions. Just to mention a few:
In Corfu town on Great Saturday morning, locals throw ceramic pots of different sizes out of their windows smashing them onto the streets. It is is said that this symbolizes the exorcism of the evil spirits.
In Vrontados village in Chios a firework battle with homemade rockets takes place between the two villages on Great Saturday night. Don’t be scared, safety measures are always in place.
The Epitaphios procession takes place all over Greece on Great Friday evening. In Hydra island the Epitaphios enters the sea being lifted by locals in the fishing village of Kaminia.
On Great Saturday evening Greeks go to the church around 11pm and they are usually packed.
The Resurrection of Christ is celebrated at midnight sharp with the priest proclaiming “Christos Anesti” which means Christ has risen. The bells are ringing and fireworks light up the sky. People greet each other saying “Christos Anesti”, receiving a reply “Alithos o Kirios” which means He has truly risen. Immediately after they return home or visit a local restaurant to enjoy the traditional dinner which includes among other delicacies the Magiritsa soup.
Easter Sunday is usually (weather permitting) a big outdoor celebration. Families and friends gather to participate in the lunch preparation. The lambs are roasted on a spit along with the traditional Kokoretsi. The tsougrisma (cracking) of red eggs is also a fun Easter tradition enjoyed by adults and kids.
As this year Easter will be celebrated on the 2nd of May, the weather will be most probably great so a relaxing day at the beach on Monday after Easter is all you would need.