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Greek Easter in Mykonos

Easter in Mykonos is better known by the Greeks as the first summer escape to the wonderful island of the Cyclades. And indeed, strolling through Mykonos Town, you will hardly encounter the same spirit of piety encountered in other parts of Greece. The plethora of bars, cafes and restaurants offer everything you would want, while young people flock the narrow streets, in search of entertainment, day and night, thus reinforcing the reputation of Mykonos as the party-capital, even during Easter.

However, some customs are honored here as well, if you look more closely at the numerous churches in town and nearby areas. The celebrations start on Palm Sunday, when most people gather at the Church of St. Helena, in the Castle (old Cathedral of town) and the image of the Virgin of St. Rosary, which has come down from the Monastery of Ano Mera. Many children accompany the procession, surrounding the historical image with knitted palm branches.

On Good Friday, in all the town churches and Ano Mera, you can hear women singing the Lament of Mary, creating a solemn atmosphere; even the bars turn off the music while the procession draws near. The ovens of the island prepare cross-shaped bread, which is cut by hand and not with a knife; the Mykonians create the famous “lamprokouloures” throughout the Great Week, in elaborate shapes and decorated with red eggs.

The Resurrection of Jesus is celebrated on Holy Saturday, as crowds flock to churches with candles, followed by the Paschal supper with boiled meat and roast Sunday of Easter. It is then that the island lights up and fully reveals its unique character, having fun until the morning, and even enjoying the first time dip in the crystal waters of the Aegean!

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