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Greek Easter in Santorini

The idyllic Santorini is a wonderful destination for celebrating Easter, combining the unique quaintness of the most exciting traditions. In recent years, it attracts more and more people, fascinated by the unique landscape and the peculiar local customs.

In many villages of Santorini, especially in Megalochori, you will find the sight of “hanging Lazarus” in the main square of the village. There is a huge cross of 15-20 meters, decorated with flowers on the Saturday of Lazarus – Holy Saturday, which remain in the square until the Ascension.

Meditation is the general feeling and atmosphere during Easter, especially in the unique village of Oia; the ceremonies are held in the church of Notre Platsani square, hosting the “miraculous” image of the Virgin Mary. According to island lore, the image was found by fishermen in the sea and comes from Crete. Equally picturesque is the atmosphere in Fira, the island’s capital, granting all-around panoramic views from its Cathedral.

The tower steals the show on Good Friday, with the entire medieval village – roofs, doors, streets and sills – adorned with small flaming lichnarakia, creating an atmosphere of true piety. The first people enter the narrow streets of the village, heading up to the church to attend the Epitaph ceremony. The procession of the Epitaph around the village has torches to its left and right, while the reading of the Holy Gospel under the medieval arches of the village creates a unique atmosphere that remains forever etched in memory.

On Saturday, fireworks jump from one side of the island to the other, illuminating the sky and creating an atmosphere of true celebration, in what was already a breath-taking environment. The Monastery of the prophet Elias, located at the highest point of the tower, is the perfect place to admire the fireworks flying over all of Santorini. The next day, Easter Sunday, after the ceremony of the Vespers of Love, most villages “burn Judas”, ie a Scarecrow, stuffed with firecrackers. The world enjoys coffee, food or drink in the wonderful atmosphere of the Caldera, painted in soft colours of spring, preparing to welcome thousands of guests during the summer tourist season.

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