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In Greece, Easter – not Christmas – is definitely the most important holy day of the year, the “Feast of Feasts.” The Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ plus the arrival of spring when everything is reborn.
Easter is a great opportunity for Greeks to rejoice, eat, drink, socialize and have fun. People visiting during Greek Easter can observe and participate in the unique traditions.
In 2023, Greek Easter will be celebrated on April 16, 2023. The Greek Orthodox Church uses the Julian calendar, not the Gregorian calendar that most other Christian churches use.
In Greece, Easter eggs are not chocolate eggs. They are real chicken eggs that have been hard boiled and dyed red.
On Holy Thursday of Easter week, women traditionally prepare 2 types of Easter sweets – tsoureki and koulourakia. Tsoureki is a traditional sweet bread. Koulourakia are generic crunchy cookies.
Do you want to learn about Greek cooking? Here are a couple of Greek cookbooks. Click on the links to see how you can save money on them.
- “It’s All Greek To Me” by Debbie Matenopoulos & Peter Capozzi
- “My Big Fat Greek Cookbook” by Christos Sourligas and Evdokia Antginas
Additional Greek Easter Information
On Good Friday, there is the Epitafios procession. The epitafios is a wooden construction covered with cloth, depicting the body of Jesus. People follow the procession around the neighborhood. It begins and ends at the church. In Athens, you can follow the epitafios procession in Plaka.
The Anastasi (Resurrection) is on Easter Saturday. People gather outside the church and exactly at midnight, the Holy Light arrives and everyone in the crowd lights their candles. It was a solemn event that turns to joy with chiming bells and fireworks.
The people return home to play the cracking of the eggs game. The person who has the last uncracked egg wins and will have good luck for the next year.
The eggs are eaten and then they have the traditional midnight meal, the magiritsa. This is a special soup containing goat or lamb intestines and kidneys, rice, herbs and lemon.
Greek Easter food is tied to feasting on lamb or goat on the spit. This is prepared on Easter Sunday everywhere around Greece. A proper Easter meal will also have salads, potatoes, various pies and the red Easter eggs. Wine, beer and Greek drinks will also be enjoyed. People listen to traditional Greek folk music and dance.
“Happy Easter” is Kalo Pascha!
If you’d like to visit Athens for Greek Easter, you should consider the following hotels that are offering discounted rates.
- Lotus Center Apartments 35% Discount
- COCO-MAT Athens B C 32% Discount
- Athens Key Hotel, Trademark Collection by Wyndham 31% Discount
- Heritage Hall 30% Discount
- LOFUS bio-suites 30% Discount
- The Modernist Athens 30% Discount
- Wyndham Grand Athens 27% Discount
- L’Avventura Athens 25% Discount
- Lasonos Suites 25% Discount
- Ruby Rooms Athens 25% Discount
- LUX & EASY Acropolis Suites 22% Discount
- LUX & EASY Athens Downtown Apartments 22% Discount
- Ciel Living Athens 20% Discount
- Altar Suites 20% Discount
- Neoma 20% Discount
- Marina Hotel Athens 20% Discount
- Noble Suites 19% Discount
- Enattica Suites Athens 15% Discount
- Pame House 15% Discount
- Athens Tiare by Mage Hotels 14% Discount
- Heritage Boutique Apartments 14% Discount
- Athens Color Cube 14% Discount
- Kyria Boutique House 11% Discount
- NLH KERAMEIKOS. Neighborhood Lifestyle Hotels 10% Discount
- Durlin Hotel 10% Discount
- Parea Athens 10% Discount
- Athens Residence Apartments 10% Discount
- Mythos Luxury Suites 10% Discount
- Pure Hotel by Athens Prime Hotels 10% Discount
- President Hotel 10% Discount
- 360 Degrees Pop Art Hotel 10% Discount