Many of the passengers that join us on luxury yacht holidays around Greece, do so seeking experiences of culture. Along with the stunning food and beaches. So, when it comes to cultural experiences in Greece, none quite match the enthusiasm, exuberance and popularity of the Orthodox Greek Easter.
Find out everything you need to know about Greek Easter
Greek Orthodox Easter is similar to the Easter you and I know and love. With a few slight differences. First, it is celebrated later than our Easter, at the end of April to the beginning of May. It also lasts longer, running from Thursday to Sunday, adding an extra day to that long weekend.
On top of that, there is also much more in the way of food, celebrations and community and much less in the way of magic rabbits and chocolate eggs.
How Do The Greeks Celebrate Easter?
Different types of celebrations are split over four days, from Thursday to Sunday, with most Christian Greek families observing the same traditions.
- Maundy Thursday, 28th: This day celebrates the last supper. Which usually sees families cooking brioche and dyed red eggs. Symbols of rebirth and life in Orthodox culture.
- Good Friday, 29th: Friday is not a day of celebration. It is a day of sadness, where Greek Christians mourn the death of Christ. An Epitaph is carried through the streets of towns, villages and cities all over Greece. To the local church, that evening. Mourners follow in its wake, chanting hymns and prayers. It’s a solemn, yet hauntingly beautiful occasion.
- Easter Saturday, 30th: Saturday sees another bountiful helping of food to the tables of Greek households. With traditional ‘magiritsa’– lamb offal mixed with herbs and spices to make a soup. As the clock ticks over to midnight, and into Easter Sunday. Greeks gather at local churches with white candles lit by the ‘holy light’. At exactly midnight, the public celebrations begin, with drums, bells and fireworks celebrating the resurrection of Christ. The red dyed eggs are then cracked open. Then the freshly prepared magiritsa is shared around a dinner table of family and loved ones.
- Easter Sunday, May 1st: Food, food and more food. Easter Sunday sees the return of lamb to the diets of many Orthodox Greeks. Lamb is regularly found on spits, twirling and cooking slowly, succulent and juicy. This is a true day of celebration that carries on long into the night. With town centers experiencing a lively scene all throughout the day.
Where Is The Best Place To Go For Orthodox Easter Celebrations?
Many celebrations take place across Greece, from the nation’s capital Athens to the smallest of islands. The Greek islands are renowned for their exuberant celebrations. Corfu is the best known for the orthodox Greek Easter festivities. Luckily for you, while on your luxury yacht holidays around Greece, Corfu is never very far away.
A theatre of sound, sight and smell, Corfu encapsulates the very essence of what makes the Orthodox Greek Easter so amazing. With endless processions, fireworks and festivities all backed with music and amazing food.
If you decide to spend Easter in Corfu, you may well have somebody shout “Christós Anést” at you. We discussed in a previous blog, that looked at what it’s like to spend spring in the Greek Islands. This chant means Christ is risen. If you really want to get into the festivities and immerse yourself in Greek culture. Feel free to shout ‘alithos anesti’ right back at them, meaning truly he is risen.Do you want to experience the celebration of Orthodox Easter while on a luxury yacht holidays around Greece? Then get in touch with Deep Blue Yachting today and we’ll show you all the best spots to enjoy the celebrations.
I will be happy to answer any questions, or comments that you may have. So please, feel free to leave them.