The Greek calendar is full of festivals, but by far the biggest event of the Greek Orthodox Church is Easter, Villages, towns and cities come to life with fireworks, dancing in the street, huge outdoor lamb roasts and plenty of wine shots. Begin with the moving, candlelit processions of flower – filled biers that mark the start of the celebration on Good Friday and by Saturday night you’ll be shouting Hristos Anesti (Christ is risen) and cracking vibrant red-dyed eggs. The best spot to join in the festivities is Patmos in the Dodecanese.
Easter is a major event on all the islands, with many renowned for their unique Holy Week customs and celebrations – from the bonfires burning Judas effigies in south –western Crete to the three-day procession of the icon of the Virgin Mary through almost every house and boat on Folegandros. The resurrection on Easter Saturday in the village of Vrontados on Chios is a real blast. During the village’s famous Rouketopolemos (rocket war), two rival churches on hill tops about 400 m apart fire around 60,000 rounds of firework rockets at each other, aiming for the bell towers. In Corfu however, Easter takes on a special grandeur, with evocative candle – lit epitafios (funeral bier) processions through the streets accompanied by bands and choirs. A peculiar tradition is botides on Holy Saturday morning, where people in Corfu Town throw big ceramic pots out of their windows and balconies, smashing them onto the streets below (a tradition dating back to the Venetians). Read more here

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