|Santorini Culture & Tradition
Churches & Religion
|santorini churches, greek orthodox easter, religious
calendars and festivals, greek namedays, recipes ...
| Museums in
|archaeological museum, prehistoric museum, megaro
gyzi museum, naval museum, george emmanuel argyros mansion,
lignos folklore museum ...
|petros m. nomikos conference center, thera wall
paintings, art space argyros canava exhibition, 'vanishing santorini'
|akrotiri excavations, ancient thira ...
|Greek Orthodox Easter &
Greek Easter does not always fall on the same
date as what most countries knows as "Easter"
because the Eastern Orthodox Church uses the Julian calendar
when calculating Easter.
It is the holiest of Greek holidays, and as in other Christian
traditions, it is also a celebration of spring. During Easter
in Greece, people leave the cities in droves to spend the
holiday in the countryside, usually in their ancestral villages.
Santorini is a very popular destination for Greeks to spend
a traditional Easter celebration ...
|"Christ is Risen "
"Yes He is Truly Risen"
On Saturday night 'Megalo
Savvato' the service of the Holy Resurrection 'Anastasi'
is held. Fourty days of mourning and fasting are over.
Bells toll out all over Greece and everywhere you hear
the cry ... "Christ is risen!", "Yes
He is truly risen!" Fireworks go off, the congregation
is smiling and happy, people kiss and hug, and slowly
walk home, trying to keep their candles alight until
they walk through the front door of their houses. A
meal follows with friends and family of Mageiritsa
Food, of course, is central
to the festivities, but not all Greeks eat the same
Easter meal. The traditional Easter table varies regionally,
although all over the country it mirrors the same age-old
wisdom that nothing should be wasted.
Regional Greek Easter dishes include fresh herbs and
tender young greens, dill, wild fennel, lemon balm,
lettuce, sorrel and spinach. Lamb on the mainland and
goat is preferred on the islands. They are slow roasted
on the spit or buried in the ground with charcoals.
One of the traditions of Greek Easter is to dye hard-boiled
eggs red to signify the blood of Christ. At Easter
time, friends and family crack their egg against each
others, to see whose egg will survive uncracked. This
continues around the table and the person with the uncracked
egg enjoys good luck.
|Epiphania Agia Theofania
: January 6th
On the stroke of January
6th, the "twelve days" of Christmas officially
come to an end. This day, takes on a special meaning
in Greece. Here, there is a special ceremony of blessing
the waters and of the vessels that sail upon them.
The modern observance at Piraeus, the ancient port
of Athens, takes the form of a priest hurling a large
crucifix into the waters. Young men brave the cold and
compete to retrieve it. These days, the cross is generally
attached to a nice, safe long chain, just in case that
year's crop of divers is something less than desired.
After the diving, local fishermen bring their boats
to be blessed by the priest.
What does all this have to do with Christmas? Orthodox
belief says that it was the day of the baptism of Jesus,
and that this is where the day's association with water
But the observance itself may pre-date Christianity.
There was, in Roman times, what was said to be a ceremony
that opened the season of navigation. However, as any
Greek fisherman can tell you, whatever the date of the
opening of the season of navigation really is, it definitely
is not January 6th, when weather can be stormy and the
waters are at their coldest.
The day is also said to be the date of a festival of
emperor-worship, also dating from Roman times. Possibly
that, with attendant offerings for the emperor, is the
root of this ceremony. Or it may also reflect a survival
of the custom of giving precious offerings to sea, river,
and spring spirits to assure their benevolence or halt
their interference. On Epiphany, the kallinkantzari,
the malicious spirits who are said to be active during
the twelve days of Christmas, are believed to be banished
for the rest of the year.
Epiphany is also called the Phota or Fota, in reference
to the day being a Feast of Light, and it is also the
saint's day for Agia Theofania. While the biggest observance
is at Piraeus, many islands and villages also celebrate
in a smaller way. Epiphania is a public holiday all