Greek Orthodox Easter Customs

01 April 2018

CYPRUS

Kalavassos Village ( Limassol district)

It is an experience to experience the Holy Saturday in Kalavassos. That day, the priest takes the vestments and runs three times around the central interior of the church. Later, after the Resurrection, fireworks illuminate the sky of the village.

Ayia Napa

In the central square of the municipality, on Easter Monday, the famous Ayia Napa sycamore tree, is the centre of attention. The municipality hangs two “susas” (swings) on top and the children climb over it singing folk songs.

Around Cyprus

Many Easter customs are kept all over the island. For example, the pilgrimage of seven “Epitaphios” on Good Friday and the "lambratzia" in squares of churches, fields, neighborhoods, with children gathering, days ago, woods to set up the tallest “lambratzia”.

GREECE

Patmos

In the “Island of the Apocalypse”,  Easter is always special. One of the customs is that of the "washbasin". At midday on Thursday, at Xanthos Square, in front of the Town Hall, a certain setting is set up, and a representation of the Washbasin that Jesus did to his disciples after the Last Supper. Monks or priests perform the 12 Apostles, Jesus Christ by the abbot of the Monastery of the Theologian, and the Evangelist by a priest. On Easter Sunday, the 2nd Resurrection takes place at the Monastery of Paphos in which the Gospel is read in seven languages.

Hydra

On Holy Friday, in the Kamini district, the Epitaphios goes into the sea and the service is continued. Subsequently, the Epitaphs of four parishes, meet in the main port.

Zante

A special custom takes place on the island, on Holy Saturday. With the first beating of the bell, the priest releases white pigeons, while from their balconies, residents throw in the streets to break, the famous "botides", a kind of clay pitchers.

Chios

One must have strong nerves to visit the island during the Easter period. This is due to the "roulette-war", a custom that began during the Ottoman domination. The residents of the parishes of St. Mark and Virgin Mary Erethani used to make, back in the day, small cannons that now evolved into improvised rockets. The result; If you find yourself in Chios during the Easter Week will you think you are in a war zone!

Rhodes

One of the traditional Easter delicacies on the island is the "lasars". These are small round cookies, in a twisted shape, which symbolize the body of Lazarus that was wrapped in a shroud.

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