From Crete to Thrace and from Rhodes to Corfu every corner of Greece celebrates Easter in its own unique way. The customs and traditions of Good Friday come to life in the richest, in folklore events, a celebration of Christianity.
ce In The Metres of Thrace, the children make the effigy of Judah and roam the houses, asking for branches to burn him the next day in the Epitaph. On Good Friday, the procession of the Epitaphus stops outside a chapel, where the fire is ready for Judas to burn. The moment the priest reads the gospel, they light the fire and burn the effigy. Later, they’ll take a handful of that ash and throw it in the way.
In Litochoro Pieria, on the evening of Good Friday, the meeting of the Epitaphians, accompanied by choirs of Litochorites, takes place at the bazaar.
In Aitolikos, many pilgrims visit the church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, where the Epitaph, a historical relic of the 13th-14th century, is located. On Easter Sunday, each neighborhood is a large outdoor barbecue, where dancing and singing have the first say, while wine and traditional appetizers are offered for free.
In Nafpaktos, on the evening of Good Friday, many people, locals and visitors, follow the procession of the Epitaph forming processions, which pass through the port, where torches are lit specially placed on the taps of the Castle, around the port. In the middle of the entrance of the port the torches form a large cross that illuminates the entire port, presenting a spectacular image. The custom combines religious mystivity with the heroic attempt of the bourlotier Anemogiannis to set fire to the Turkish flagship in this area.
Syros experiences Easter in a special way. Its two religious communities, Orthodox and Catholic, celebrate Easter at the same time. The Epitaphs of the Catholics in Ano Syros start from the church of Agios Georgios. In Hermoupolis, the Epitaph of catholics starts from the Church of Evangelists, the Epitaphs of the Orthodox from the parishes of Agios Nikolaos, the Assumption and the Metropolis of Transfiguration. During their tour they meet in the central square Miaouli, where there is a nightly service.
In Paros, the circumference of the Epitaph of Marpissa is of particular interest, as during its duration there are about fifteen stops. At each stop, a part of the mountain is illuminated, where children dressed as Roman soldiers or disciples of Christ, represent scenes from the entrance to Jerusalem, the prayer at the Mount of Olives, the Martyrdom of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.
In Naxos, on Good Friday the girls clean the churches, decorate the Epitaph, followed by the procession. On the Easter table stands out the traditional “batoudo”, goat stuffed with offal, vegetables, rice, eggs and cheese baked in the oven.
Islands In Corfu, the Imposing Epitaph starts from the church of Agios Georgios in the Old Fortress. Until 9.30 p.m., the Epitaph comes out of each church with the necessary band of the parish, the choirs, the faithful. Last comes the majestic Epitaph of metropolis. At 9 a.m., the Epitaph of the Church of St. Spyridon takes place, as in 1574 the Venetians forbade the Orthodox from roaming on Good Friday, and since then the Corfiots have been carrying out the tour together with the Sept. It is the oldest and most cataclysmic Litany that comes out in memory of the miracle of the Saint, who saved the Corfiot people from the wheat.
In Zakynthos, the cataclysmic atmosphere and the peculiarities of “Zakynthinos Easter” with its peculiar “antitia” (customs) make it special. At noon on Good Friday, a crowd of believers participates in the procession of the Crusader that crosses the whole city. In the Metropolitan Church of Agios Nikolaos of Foreigners, the circumference of the Epitaph, according to an old local custom, takes place in the early hours of the Great Saturday, while at sunrise, the Despot lifts the Resurrection. With the first ringing of the bell, the Despot leaves white doves free while from the bell tower throw clay pots in the street, like all the inhabitants of the island from their windows.
In Lefkada, on the evening of Good Friday takes place on the main street of the city, ending the traditional, Venetian, central square, the circumference of the Epitaphs of the houses, accompanied by the Philharmonic.