Easter in Greece: Saturday of Lazarus and Palm Sunday

Today the western world celebrates Easter. Happy Easter to all who celebrate! For Greek and Eastern Orthodox Christians, Holy Week begins. This weekend marks the joy of miracles and resurrection.

The Saturday of Lazarus celebrates Christ’s raising of Lazarus of Bethany. Events throughout Greece vary by region, however young women traditionally visit neighbors with flowers and Lazarakia sweet breads to share, even as some villagers sing chorals of the miracle. In the United States, it is common for children of a Greek Orthodox parish to gather for morning service, a breakfast traditionally prepared by the ladies of the parish. Together, they craft crosses from palms to share with believers on Palm Sunday.

Palm Sunday, a triumphal and joyous feast day, depicts Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, as faithful learn of the miracle of Lazarus’s raising and in turn prepare for the mourning of Holy Week.

Citizens of Greece live these most significant religious days filled with traditions and practices that have them experience the passion of the week. It is impressive to feel the energy and “vibe” in every step you take, each meal enjoyed, and customary events throughout the week.

An authentic tour during Easter is more than sprinkled with such experiences, immersing travelers in the celebrations, and making Easter in Greece a distinct and energizing journey.