Easter is the most sacred observance in the Greek Orthodox faith. Preparations and customs remain some of the most traditional in Modern Greek life.
Easter celebrations are exciting all over Greece. One of the most famous destinations to celebrate Easter is considered to be our lovely Chios Island where visitors are able to delve into an overwhelming spiritual atmosphere and participate into sacred rituals, ancient-old traditions and joyful celebrations!
Easter customs on Chios
Apart from being the only Mastiha scented Island worldwide, Chios is well known for its magnificent Easter festivities too. On the night of the Holy Saturday people of Vrontádos are ready to set the night on fire! The famous rocketwar starts, a virtual fight between the church of Panayia Erythiani and the Church of Agios Markos. A custom which dates back to the age of the Turkish occupation (15th-19th centuries) and turns this village into a virtual battlefield. [read more about Rocket War…]
The midnight Service of the Resurrection is an occasion attended by everyone who is able, including children, each holding a white candle.
Special candles made for Easter are called “labathda” and are often given as gifts to children from their parents or God-parents. These candles can be lavishly decorated with favorite children’s heroes or storybook characters, and may be as much as three feet tall, but the candle itself is usually white (blue and pink is also acceptable…). These candles are only used for one Easter midnight service.
The last leg of Kyra Sarakosti (a creation made by dough in the shape of a woman with seven legs, one for every week out of the seven before Easter) is due to be cut and the Holy week is about to start.
Where we will stay
A mansion in Kampos area is an option for our accommodation during Easter feast. Voulamandis (22710 31733) and Topakas (22710 29979) are guesthouses in the area of Kampos where Easter celebration gets special meaning among the groves and aromas of blooming Spring. In Karfas, at the hilltop overlooking Karfas Bay, Aeriko (www.benovias.gr T. 22710 32336) can be found, a charmy little hotel with a nice café-bar serving breakfast in a friendly and cozy environment.
If you choose to stay some kms away for Chios town, Avgonyma seems to be the perfect place where the isolated village hold its special customs during Easter and as we are saying here in Greece “Celebrate Easter at a village, a unforgettable experience.
Tranquilty and serenity at the seaside village of Lithi (Almiriki Hotel, www.almiriki.gr T. +30 22710 73124 from 80€ per room per night)
Tip: Don’t miss the mass early the morning of Holy Saturday at the church of Evagelistria downtown Chios where the priest is coming out from the sanctuary spreading attendees joy and happiness for the forthcoming resurrection of Jesus. See the video (courtesy of chiosphotos.gr) to realize what we are talking about