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Easter in Athens

Easter in Athens | Great Friday Service

Easter is a unique occasion to explore Greek traditions and customs


Easter is a great time to be in Greece for many reasons. First of all even if you are not a devout Christian you can't help but be moved by the ceremonies and the way life begins again on Easter Sunday after winter and 40 days of fasting. Local customs, the Ionian marching bands, the Epitaphs that the parish women spend all night decorating on Holy Thursday, the solemn Good Friday processions, the Ascension ceremony on Easter Eve with its candles and fireworks, the Paschal lamb on the spit, and the services in churches, monasteries and chapels will entrance and uplift you. Spring in Greece is a celebration – and Easter is the pinnacle of this celebration!From the point-of-view of a spectator, from Friday it starts to get very interesting. In the evening a funeral service is held and at about 9pm the epitaph is taken from the church and with the bells tolling mournfully, is carried through the streets in a solemn procession. In cities, towns and villages with more than one church the epitaph parades may join together at certain points. Easter traditions are as numerous and varied as the different towns and villages of Greece.

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