Perhaps surprisingly to those unfamiliar with Greek tradition, Easter is the most significant religious celebration in Greece, surpassing even Christmas in grandeur, preparations and spiritual symbolisms.
Greeks prepare for Easter well in advance of Lent and the Holly Week, be it by praying, fasting or crucially by getting ready for the Easter celebrations unique to each destination in Greece. Easter and Lord Jesus’ resurrection signifies to Christianity the spiritual passage from darkness to light and the eternal defeat of death. However, every area in Greece, every little village - whether high up on a mountain or washed by the sea on an Aegean shore - has its own special way of representing and celebrating His universal message of love, sacrifice and freedom.
Santorini, the precious gem of the Aegean, could be no exception to this! Blessed with magnificent views over the volcano, this white-washed island in the heart of the Aegean Sea offers a unique Easter experience. The picturesque village of Pyrgos, a short drive from the island’s capital, with its plethora of little paved streets overlooking Santorini from atop the island’s highest mountain, is a popular destination amongst Greeks for its Good Friday celebrations.
A picture may speak a thousand words, however one has to really know the work that goes into Good Friday preparations at Pyrgos every year to appreciate the experience, both physically and spiritually. Τhe spectacle is breathtaking and many visitors come from all over the island just to witness this event.
The feeling is rather unworldly – all flags rest at half-mast and the churches’ bells mournfully ring all day long as locals and pilgrims light up little metal containers that are then placed across the entire village, even at the narrowest of alleys. Everyone prepares themselves for the reenacting of Lord Jesus’ funeral and the procession starting from every church is nothing short of mystical. An otherwise cosmopolitan village buzzing with life and music, becomes overwhelmingly quiet on that evening as believers symbolically follow Lord Jesus to his grave.
That is only half the story though – however melancholic the atmosphere may be, hope for all humanity is gradually sparking in everyone’s heart. Words cannot describe the emotions that pilgrims go through by the end of the procession knowing that Lord Jesus will eventually rise from the dead!
Greece has so many unique destinations to offer, each with its own customs and traditions when it comes to celebrating Easter. Santorini is a definite highlight for those in seek of a mystical experience at a destination of unparalleled beauty!
You should not miss one of the most aesthetically and spiritually pleasing experiences of your life!
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