Orthodox Easter in Santorini
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Orthodox Ester customs in Sanrorini
You can experience local customs and traditions.
On Holy Friday at Emporio, the signs are revived. The men of the village gather and strike anything metallic or wooden to make noise, passing through the churches of the village where they attend the Holly Mass. On their way out, the women give them raki and candies, because they think they are driving away evil spirits preparing for the Resurrection.
On Holy Friday evening at the Tower of Santorini a special event is taking place in a distinctive way. The epitaph sequence in the narrow streets of the village is made under the light of thousands of flaming vessels, placed on the rooftops, the pillars and the Venetian castle, creating a dazzling and impressive atmosphere.
As soon as the sun begins to turn on and during the epitaph course, locals and visitors think that the village has literally been burning. It is truly the most fascinating custom during Easter of Santorini and an opportunity to experience this unique events.
The Saturday of Lazarus Resurrection
Lazarus is celebrated on Saturdays in various villages of Santorini, but especially in Megalohori, the locals revive every year the custom of “Lazarus”. They set up a huge cross (reaching a height of 15-20 meters) in the middle of the village square wrapped in rosemary, symbolizing the Resurrection of Lazarus. They hire the most trustworthy professionals to keep the site clean. This custom symbolizes the resurrection of Lazarus, and the cross stays in this position until the Holy Saturday, then it is stripped off its decorations and remains until the day of Ascension.
The children make smaller crosses and go from door to door and sing Lazarus’ carols while they hit the bells of the churches that will come across their way. During the Holy Week, women make melitinia, a traditional sweet with honey, vanilla, mastic and mizithra.
The night of Resurrection in Pyrgos
On the night of the Resurrection you can visit the monastery of Prophet Elias, on the highest point of the island, where there is no barrow, but you will be delighted to see the fireworks that illuminate the whole of Santorini.
Also, another option for the day of Resurrection is the Metropolis of the island, where you can overlook the caldera and be very close to the main square of the island, which is filled with many restaurants and bars.
In the evening of the Resurrection the fireworks create a unique spectacle in all the parishes of the island.
Easter Sunday in Santorini
On Easter Sunday after the holy mass of Love, another custom revives, the burning of Judas.
In most villages that revive the custom of “Burning Judas,” a dummy that looks like a big scarecrow and is stuffed with fireworks is hanging from a tall spot where they shoot it.
The Holy Week on the island is filled with smells and flavors, the bakeries are preparing continuously Easter breads, interstitial cookies and melitinia, the most passionate sweet of Santorini!
2 Things that you shouldn’t miss during the Orthodox Easter in Santorini
- Watch the first sunset of your vacation in peace by booking a Santorini sunset private tour.
- Walk the path that connects Imerovigli with Oia. The spring sweetens the rough sight of caldera, filling it with wildflowers. Book now a Santorini north part private tour.