The preparation for Easter
The Holy Week on the island is a time full of smells and flavors. It is the last week of 40 days of fasting for the religious (abstain from meat, eggs, dairy products, or even olive oil), so the locals spend the entire week preparing their special dishes for the day of Easter. They also make traditional Easter delicacies such as Tsourekia (a sweet type of brioche), special cookies, as well as melitinia (the most famous sweet pastries during these days) that fill the air with mouth-watering smells.
Find out more about the stars of the Santorinian Cuisine.
Holy Week During Easter In Santorini
Each day of the holy week there is an evening ceremony taking place in the churches of the island. You can attend them and even if you don’t understand the words, you can certainly perceive a certain feeling of peace and tranquility surrounding you. Towards the end of the week, the ceremonies become more special.
Good Friday in Pyrgos, Santorini
The Good Friday in Santorini has been closely associated with the village of Pyrgos. It is due to the unique way of the “Epitafios” celebration (the funeral bier paraded in a somber march), an event that made the village internationally known. The villager’s preparations consist of lighting up thousands of aluminum cans, stuffed with flammable materials and placing them on every house, every rooftop, every church, every path, on the entire village, even on the Venetian castle, creating an unforgettable atmosphere. It is a truly magical sight, just unforgettable.
Good Saturday under the Cycladic sky
On Good Saturday evening, the monastery of Prophet Elias at the highest point of the island offers a magnificent spectacle. The view around the monastery is breathtaking and you can enjoy an impressive spectacle of fireworks that illuminate the starry sky of Santorini. Every year, most people bring a candle along, and according to tradition, they light it up from the Holy Flame and try to keep it lit for as long as they can.
Easter Sunday Traditions
On Easter Sunday, there are blossomed flowers in every garden. The cobbled streets are overcrowded as whole lambs are traditionally roasted over fire pits for several hours, before being taken home for the family feast. Another tradition that Greeks enjoy on that day is the famous “Tsougrisma” where 2 “players” are competing over cracking red eggs. Each player holds a red egg, and one taps the end of their egg against the end of the other player’s egg. The goal is to crack the opponent’s egg — without cracking yours, of course. (Don’t worry, the eggs are boiled, and of course, you can eat them after.)
Every year the visitors are fascinated by the devoutness and the dedication of Santorinians, no matter how religious they are! With no second thought, if you are an admirer of original moments and traditional experiences, an Easter escape in Santorini is not to be missed.
PS. Before planning your trip to Santorini, have in mind that the Orthodox and Catholic Easter are usually set on different dates.