How is Greek Easter celebrated in Santorini? - Santorini Yachting Club
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How is Greek Easter celebrated in Santorini?

How is Greek Easter celebrated in Santorini?
10 Apr 2023

If you are looking for something unique and spectacular, we recommend you visit Santorini at Easter time. This year, Greek Easter falls on the 16th of April, so you still have a chance to bag yourself a last-minute deal. Here is what to expect when you land on this gorgeous pearl of the Aegean Sea! 

What proceeds the big Greek Easter celebrations? 

While Catholics mainly focus on the struggles and hardships of Jesus Christ, Greeks place more emphasis on celebrating his miraculous resurrection. Apart from a 40-day fasting period during which people abstain from eating meat, eggs, and dairy, believers also prepare their souls for the most important holiday of the Orthodox world. They attend church services each day of the week prior to Greek Easter; the afternoon masses carry a certain mystical atmosphere. Those who visit the whitewashed Santorini churches at this time of the year will be enriched by unique experiences while listening to splendid Byzantine chants.

santorini easter

Holy Easter Week in Santorini 

Proceeding the Greek Easter, women of the Santorini towns and villages are busy preparing all the festive delicacies for the big day. When you are wandering around the winding alleys, you may smell the lingering aromas of the mouthwatering Greek Easter dishes coming from the locals’ homes. No Easter in Santorini can be complete without the golden masticha-flavoured brioche called tsoureki or the island’s sweet cheese pasty, melitinia. While women are doing their chores in the kitchen, men make sure to buy the fattest piece of lamb to roast on Easter Sunday, which is one of the most important culinary traditions of Greek Easter.

easter santorini

Good Friday in Pyrgos, the village of thousand candles

In Santorini, the whole island takes part in the Epitafios walk on Good Friday, which begins at the stairs of the Holy Mary Chapel in Pyrgos. The crowd marches through the narrow cobblestoned streets of the quaint village, which is illuminated by thousands of aluminum cans, stuffed with flammable materials placed on every house, rooftop, windowsill and even on the Venetian Castle, creating a truly magical atmosphere.

easter santorini pirgos

Good Saturday with fireworks at the Monastery

On Good Saturday, the locals flock to the Prophet Elias Monastery, near the village of Pyrgos to admire the breathtaking view and the impressive firework show. The monastery offers a perfect vantage point to get a good view of all the Greek Easter spectacles happening around. Traditionally, people carry a candle along which is said to be lit up by the Holy Fame. The aim is to keep the candle lit as long as possible despite the gentle breeze coming from the sea.

santorini easter traditions

Unique Greek Easter Sunday traditions

Under the blossoming trees, Santorinians roast whole lambs for several in their gardens over fire pits. Roasted lamb is the main highlight of the Greek Easter table. Another popular activity on Easter Sunday is a folk game that consists of cracking two boiled eggs. The person whose egg remains intact is said to be the winner and is believed to have good fortune throughout the year.

easter traditions santorini

Visiting Santorini at Easter time can be an unforgettable experience, however, make sure to book your spring adventure on the right date as Orthodox and Catholic Easter usually fall on different dates.

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