Easter in Greece, a country united in celebration!

“Hristos Anesti!” – Christ Has Risen
“Alithos o Kirios” – Truly He Has

These are words that ring throughout Greece on Orthodox Easter Sunday and for many days to follow the highest holy day of the year. Neighbors greet each other with this, store attendants welcome customers as such, and with the hope and love of the season, communities come together and live in the glorious moment, letting the challenges of daily life sit on the sideline for a bit. As visitors to a country of citizens whose faith is a national religion, travelers are engulfed with the festivities.

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, traditions vary throughout the land both leading up to Easter and on Easter day. Some communities, such as the Chios Island engage in a ‘roketopolemo’ with fireworks lighting the sky. In Agios Nikolas, Crete, bonfires of the burning of Judas dot the waters. On the island of Corfu, pictured above, residents gather early for the first resurrection and symbolic pot-smashing in the square, then fireworks in the sky, and eventually more bands parading through the town in culmination of Holy Week and the celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Lights frame cliffs of Santorini, illuminating the island in hope and faith. The mainland is steeped in song of faith as church bells ring, and citizens gather to receive the Holy Light.

At midnight, on Holy Saturday, the Eternal Light originates every year at Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The Orthodox Easter Holy Fire ceremony sees worshipers lighting torches and candles from a flame they believe was miraculously lit at the tomb of Jesus on the eve of Orthodox Easter. The Holy Fire is taken by Greek military jets to Greece, and then to other Orthodox communities across the world.

The familiar and savory smell of Easter fills the air on Sunday and tease our tummies…it’s time…Easter Glendi!

While words cannot do justice to the experience of Holy Week and Easter in Greece, we’re sharing photos of this time in the gallery below. These are moments during all of Holy Week. Not all pictures are our own, and we try to credit the original postings, but all pictures depict the spirit and hope of the season.

From our family to yours, Insiders Tours Greece sends endless wishes of a Happy Easter!

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