23 Apr

The Orthodox Easter is one of the greatest religious holidays in Greece. It is celebrated with great devotion around the country, and various, centuries old, rituals and traditions give each region a special atmosphere during the Holy Week.

Around the Dodecanese and especially on Kos, the preparations start on Maundy Thursday. Traditional Easter brioches, called “tsoureki”, are being prepared by the housewives, while eggs are being dyed red as a symbolization of the rebirth of life and nature.

Photo by visitgreece.gr

Traditional Easter table- Photo by visitgreece.gr

 

Good Friday is the day that symbolizes the deposition from the Cross and Christ’s burial. In the morning, in all the churches of the island, the Epitaph is decorated with colorful flowers. Later in the evening, all of the Epitaphs will go out of the churches, take a tour in each neighborhood and then meet in the central square of Kos town, where a contest of strength among the men lifting them will be held: the Epitaph that will stay longer high in the air will be the winner.

Epitaphs in the central square of Kos- Photo by panoramio.com

Epitaphs in the central square of Kos- Photo by panoramio.com

 

Easter Saturday morning is another special day for the housewives of Kos, as they have to prepare the dinner for the evening, when, after the Holy Resurrection, the whole family will feast and celebrate. The dinner includes a traditional soup called “maghiritsa”.

People gather in the church before midnight holding white candles, which are lit by the Holy Light. At 00.00 sharp, the priests declare that “Christos Anesti” (Christ has risen) and the celebrations begin with the church bells ringing joyfully and fireworks lighting up the night sky!

Easter fireworks in Kos- Photo by panoramio.com

Easter fireworks in Kos- Photo by panoramio.com

 

On Sunday the celebrations continue with a festive meal. Traditionally, the inhabitants of the Dodecanese islands prepare stuffed lamb in the oven, cheese pies called “lambropites” and Easter cookies. Families gather around the table in a joyful atmosphere, to eat, drink and dance until late at night.

Easter on Greek islands is a lifetime experience, as it is celebrated with great devotion and consists of exciting celebrations and traditions. Give yourself the opportunity to feast with the locals and become part of this very special holiday!