Easter is the most significant celebration in the Greek Orthodox Church, where people celebrate the resurrection of Christ. The date of Easter in Greece is marked by the Grecian calendar and so does not fall at the same time as Easter in other European countries. Easter is a big thing for Greeks. Families travel to their family village house to celebrate it. This year we are not, because BlueVillas is going to Santorini. Why? Santorini is famous for its sunset, but also for the unique Easter celebration. The ambience is heartwarming, and the Greek Orthodox Easter traditions come to life. Join us!
On Maundy Thursday, the Service of the Holy Passion and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ are held. The preparations for the celebration of the Resurrection also start on that day. Housewives traditionally make the delicious Tsoureki which is an Easter braided brioche. Its 3 braids symbolize the Holy Trinity. Make sure you ask for one at the local bakery, it’s amazing! Also, the same day eggs are dyed with special red dyes - symbol of the blood of Jesus - and which are cracked and eaten after the Resurrection.
Good Friday is the sacred day of the culmination of mourning as the Deposition from the cross and Christ’s burial takes place. Young girls decorate the Epitaph according to tradition that wants the Crown of Thorns of Jesus Christ to be covered with flowers. The Epitaph Mass takes place in the evening and then follows the circumambulation in Pyrgos Kallistis. The whole village glows as the villagers have lit thousands of candles, lanterns and other materials to make it like a real painting. People join with their own lanterns as well. Also, in Fira, there are two epitaph processions that meet in the central square, which is also perfect.
On Saturday morning, the preparation of magiritsa, a traditional tripe and herbs soup, starts. Late on Saturday night, people take their candles and unite at the church of Megalochori where the Resurrection of Christ is celebrated. At midnight the church goes dark and the bells ring out to proclaim the Resurrection, and people start cheering and letting off fireworks and crackers! The priest lights a candle representing of Jesus’ eternal flame and the Holy Light is shared to everyone. Then they all gather around the festively laid table to eat the delicious magiritsa, which is even more delicious after 40 days of fasting and crack the red eggs. The cracking game is the symbol of ressurection and involves two players each playing with a red egg each. One person then taps the end of their egg onto the other person’s, with the aim being to crack the opponent’s egg. The winner is believed to have good luck throughout the year.
Another of the Greek Orthodox Easter traditions is the roasting of the lamb on Sunday. Easter is the day when Greeks get together to prepare the lamb on the pit early morning and they leave at night. The whole day is like a ritual itself, as they gather before noon and slowly eat, drink and dance all day long. The guests should not miss this treat. The mayor of Fira organizes a local feast with lots of food and dancing in a very nice event.
Still thinking about it? Easter is almost here. Explore our Santorini villas to make your stay unforgettable!