Andronis, a Greek hospitality group with the finest 5-star luxury hotels on Santorini, gives us a description on how the Easter holiday is embraced and celebrated on the popular Greek island.
Santorini is a stunning destination, especially during Easter, when it seductively reveals its hidden treasures.
Whether you want to learn about Greek Easter traditions or just see how the locals celebrate Holy Week (the week before Easter), Santorini provides a unique and unforgettable experience.
Preparing for Easter
On the island, Holy Week is a time full of smells and flavors. It is the final week of the religious 40-day fast (abstain from meat, dairy products, eggs, or even olive oil), so the locals spend the entire week focusing on the preparations of Easter’s special dishes.
They also make traditional Easter treats like Tsourekia (a sweet type of brioche), special cookies, and “Melitinia” (the most popular sweet pastries during these days) that fill the air with delectable aromas.
Holy Week Celebrations on Santorini
Every evening during Holy Week, a ceremony is held in one of the island’s churches. You can attend them, and even if you don’t understand the words, you will undoubtedly sense a sense of peace and serenity surrounding you. The ceremonies become more special as the week progresses.
Good Friday in the village of Pyrgos
The village of Pyrgos has long been associated with Santorini’s Good Friday. It is because of the village’s distinctive “Epitafios” celebration (the burial bier paraded in a solemn march), which has made it worldwide famous.
The locals’ preparations include igniting thousands of aluminum cans loaded with combustible materials and arranging them on every house, rooftop, church, walkway, and even the Venetian castle to create an unforgettable ambience. It’s an absolutely stunning sight that will stay with you forever.
Good Saturday Festivities
The monastery of Prophet Elias, located on the island’s highest point, gives a spectacular view on Good Saturday evening. The view from the monastery is beautiful, and you can see a spectacular display of fireworks brighten Santorini’s starry sky. Every year, the majority of attendees bring a candle, which they light from the Holy Flame and try to keep lit for as long as possible.
Easter Sunday Traditional Celebrations
Every garden is blooming with flowers on Easter Sunday. Whole lambs are typically roasted over fire pits for many hours before being transported home for the family feast. On that day, Greeks also participate in the legendary “Tsougrisma,” in which two “players” compete in cracking red eggs.
Each player has a red egg, and the end of their egg is tapped against the end of the other player’s egg. The objective is to shatter your opponent’s egg without cracking your own. (Don’t worry; the eggs have been boiled, and you can eat them afterwards.)
Every year, visitors are enthralled by the devoutness and passion of Santorinians, regardless of their religious beliefs! Without a doubt, if you enjoy unique moments and traditional encounters, Easter in Santorini should not be missed.
While arranging your trip to Santorini, keep in mind that the Orthodox and Catholic Easters are usually held on different days.