Easter is arguably one of the most exciting times in the year to visit the beautiful island of Crete. This is the most important festival of the year that is celebrated with many traditional, local customs. So, if you’re looking for a holiday where you can experience the excitement of another culture, learn about heritage and enjoy a spot of fabulous hot Grecian sunshine, then Easter on the Greek Islands is the perfect choice for you. Interestingly, Easter in the Greek Orthodox Church can fall up to one to five after Protestant or Catholic Easter, however this year it is to fall on the very same day – Sunday 20th April. It is therefore the perfect place to take the kids if you’re looking for an education yet fun getaway in the Easter holidays.
If you’re looking to experience real Grecian culture then here is your guide to a traditional Easter in the Greek Islands:
Good Friday – April 18th 2014
Good Friday (Megali Paraskevi) is traditionally a day of mourning. You can expect churches to ring out a ‘death toll’ throughout the morning. Church services will usually take place in the evening, after this a procession will then take place; the atmosphere is very subdued. An epitaph or coffin is carried at the head of the procession, the congregation will follow dressed in the mourning colours of black – it is a truly unique cultural experience that will stay with you forever.
Easter Saturday – April 19th 2014
Easter Saturday (Megalo Sabbato) is an incredible day to spend in Crete or any of the Greek Islands. In the villages bonfires are prepared throughout the day as well as an effigy of Judas which will then be burned after a special church service that takes place at midnight. After the midnight service (the Anastasi – resurrection) the villages truly come to life; tavernas (restaurants) open to end a 40-day fast that has taken place throughout Holy Week. In addition to this, live music is often played to celebrate the dawn of Easter day. It is truly amazing to be a part of.
Easter Sunday – April 20th 2014
As you can imagine, Easter Sunday (Kyriaki tou Paska) is a day dedicated to celebration, often spent with friends and family. Throughout the villages you find dancing, merriment and food. Although many shops and museums will be closed, tavernas are usually open so you can experience the wonders of Greek Othordox first hand. Lamb is the traditional food served around the Greek Islands on Easter Sunday and it is traditionally roasted on a spit that is located outside. Experiencing Easter here is truly amazing and something that you will remember throughout your lifetime.
Here at Pure Crete we specialise in providing extra-special Crete villa holidays, we believe in offering our guests, a luxurious yet culturally inspiring holiday on the beautiful island of Crete. Many of our villas in the Greek Islands are situated in the local villages or off the beaten track so you can experience a cultural holiday of a lifetime. For more information in regards to our villa collection, please don’t hesitate to get in contact, simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on +44 (0)1444 880 404.