Easter is considered to be one of the most religious holidays in Greece as well as an opportunity for a quick getaway to the Greek islands. People choose the Greek islands to celebrate Easter due to their unique traditions and authentic devout atmosphere. Easter in Paros for example is an experience you don’t want to miss, and we are about to tell you why.
Paros is an ideal destination for those who want to experience Easter in Greece. The island’s beautiful scenery, warm weather, and rich cultural heritage make it a great place to celebrate the holiday. The Holy Week is filled with a spiritual atmosphere and a series of mass sessions taking place at every church and every village throughout the island. The solemn atmosphere is enveloped by the scents of candles, spring flowers, home baked Easter cookies and “Tsoureki”. Let’s take a look at the most spectacular customs and traditions taking place in Paros over the last days of the Holy Week.
On Maundy Thursday, the Epitaph is decorated in Naoussa and women sing the Lament of the Virgin Mary. On Good Friday, a traditional Parian dish made of chickpeas is served in the village of Prodromos to honor the memory of the dead. In the Monastery of Agios Georgios in Lagada, visitors can witness a representation of Jesus bearing the cross on his way to Calvary while the bells ring mournfully. On the evening of Good Friday, in the villages of Marpissa, Prodromos, Marmara and Lefkes, the famous “Reenactments” of the Week of the Passion take place. As the faithful participate in the procession of the Epitaph, scenes from the Divine Drama such as the Prayer on the Mount of Olives, the Last Supper and the Crucifixion are reenacted by young people in a dramatic ambiance.
The Procession of the Epitaphs in Parikia, which takes place at 12 o’clock at midnight is accompanied by Hymns, Psalms and Lamentations adding to the solemn atmosphere with the three Epitaphs of Parikia meeting in the center becoming the climax moment of the procession.
As soon as the first Resurrection takes place on the morning of Holy Saturday, there is a beautiful procession of the icon of the Resurrection in the village of Marpissa with the crowds following the little girls dressed as angels. On the evening of Holy Saturday, the Resurrection is celebrated solemnly in all the churches of the island with joyful bells, fireworks, and festivities. Don’t forget to try the traditional Easter soup also known as “Mageiritsa” after the Resurrection.
On Easter Sunday, the “Festival of Love” takes place in Marpissa, where a large outdoor Easter table is set up with traditional dishes, music and a lot of dancing. In Naoussa on the other hand, Easter is celebrated with the procession of the icons of Pantanassa and the Dormition of the Virgin Mary followed by the crowds and the so called “burlottierides”, young people of the village throwing firecrackers during the processions. On Easter Sunday the king of any feast is of course the traditional roast lamb on a spit, an absolute must try.
Easter in Paros is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in Greek culture, enjoy traditional food, and connect with the local community and traditions.