EASTER IN GREECE 2021
The most important event in the Christian Orthodox Calendar, Easter in Greece, will be celebrated behind closed doors due to the Restrictions of COVID-19 Lockdown in place in Greece and around most of the world. Many who would normally travel to Greece and it’s Islands will have to stay away.
Greek Easter 2021 falls at the start of May, Sunday May 2nd, normally, we would have taken the opportunity to enjoy a sunny Easter break in Kefalonia, Greece.
Here’s a little on how the Easter celebrations would be in normal circumstances.
Orthodox Easter, also called Pascha and Resurrection Sunday, is the oldest and most important festival in the Eastern Christian tradition, celebrating Jesus Christ’s resurrection (rising from the grave) following his crucifixion and death.
The rich history and old customs of Greece are often celebrated at Easter Holidays in traditional festivals and vary from village to village. You will have the opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds of a typical Greek celebration.
Start of Easter Celebrations
The celebrations start 40 days before the Easter Saturday, where many people , mostly women, observe observe fasting with mainly delicious Greek vegetarian dishes
The week before Easter is ‘Holy Week’ . There are church services both morning and evening across this week. Palm Sunday – The Sunday before Easter will celebrate Christ’s entry to Jerusalem.
Good Friday is a day of mourning, on that day people mainly wear black colours. In the evening people go to church, and after the service, there is a procession through the streets with people carrying the epitaph or coffin of the Lord
Easter Saturday – The whole week has focused on this day and a new hope is in the atmosphere. In all village squares throughout Kefalonia there will be a massive service, where all the villagers will congregate. To welcome in Easter Sunday, the only light that will be burning is the single flame from the candle that has been lit from the Holy flame in the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem (flown in from Jerusalem) This light will slowly be passed around to each person throughout the congregation as we head towards midnight. Each person carries a candle. The candles they carry will all have been lit from one inside the church, the “Holy Flame”. At exactly midnight the Head priest will chant the words “Christos Anesti” (Christ has Risen).
At midnight, as the clock chimes to welcome in Easter Sunday, the locals gather and hurl firecrackers at the village church, though this may be muted this year. Tradition has it that this will ward off evil spirits for the coming year.
Then the noise starts…The louder bangs that can be heard are the result of local lads who throw fireworks in the church bell tower. It can be ear drum piercing but very entertaining.
Bells will ring…People will be shouting. People will carry their candles home and as they enter their homes the candles are used to make the mark of the Cross on their door before they go inside.
Easter Sunday is fairly quiet as everyone goes to bed so late in the morning. Check out our other posts by visiting out Blog.
Easter is associated with the beginning of spring time, when all the flowers and fauna are blossoming, the air smells alive and fresh, the skies are the best colour of the year, and the days are getting longer. Enjoy this beautiful time of year!
καλό Πάσχα - Happy Easter