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Easter customs in Greece

In many areas of Greece, many special customs are revived during Easter period , Saitos wars, fanfare, fireworks and breaking pitchers, hanging lanterns, are just a few of the many and impressive customs of Easter days.

In Leonidio for a century now, the custom of balloons is revived every year, which makes the dark sky shine uniquely. According to custom, the citys five parishes compete to see who will fly the most balloons.


The island of Hydra, offers a different Easter as the procession of the Epitaph takes place in the sea. The Epitaph enters the water to bless it and protect sailors and sponge divers, while at the same time the Epitaph Service is read, creating a solemn atmosphere.


Corfu has a rich tradition in Easter customs. On Holy Saturday, at six oclock in the morning, an artificial earthquake takes place in like the earthquake that occurred during the Resurrection, according to the scriptures. Then follows the procession of the Epitaph of the church of Agios Spyridon and at exactly eleven o;clock  the bells signify the first Resurrection and the beginning of the famous custom of Botides“. Huge jugs, plain or painted, filled with water and red ribbons are hurled with force from the decorated balconies of the houses to exorcise evil in the most central part of the island.
One of the most prominent customs is the rocket war in Chios. In the village of Vrontados, on the evening of Holy Saturday the custom of rocket warfare is revived and the famous settlement is transformed into a battlefield. The custom comes from the years of the Turkish occupation and the “war between the faithful of the two big churches, who turn night into day with thousands of rockets fired into the air.
Santorini is a special destination for Easter as well. Here on Good Friday, the streets of Pyrgos village are decorated with tin lamps creating a flickering river of fire and in combination with the sound of the village‘s young people hitting metal objects, the scenery is special during the procession of the Epitaph.

Monemvasia is one of the most picturesque places in the country among the rocks and the stonebuilt alleys. During the procession of the Epitaph, the faithful follow holding white candles and on Sunday afternoon the traditional burning of Judas takes place.
In Kalamata on Easter Sunday, a special local custom is revived, the Saitopolemos, where, according to legend, the Messenians used shuttles full of explosives to intercept the cavalry of the Turks in 1821.
Skiathos is one of the few places in Greece where the custom of Mount Athos is observed. The service of the epitaph in the churches of the city begins at 1 a.m. on Friday night while its procession begins at 04:00 in the morning, creating a solemn atmosphere.


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