Greek Easter in Pieria and the whole of Greece is the most religious and cultural day. The Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ with the arrival of Spring when everything is reborn. In 2023, Greek Easter is celebrated in Pieria region on the 16th of April throughout the country.
The best places to celebrate Greek Easter are outside the main cities. As visiting a smaller town or a village will let you experience a traditional Greek Easter that you are likely to remember for years.
So, If you want to visit Pieria region during Greek Easter, get closer to the Greek culture, and enjoy participating in our unique traditions, It’s better to start planning your next trip to experience Greek Easter in Pieria, and I assure you that you will remember it for years to come!
Easter is our biggest religious holiday and it’s a great opportunity for us to rejoice, enjoy unique dishes, drink, socialize, and be merry. In Pieria region, We fully respect and celebrate every single Greek Easter tradition like making Tsoureki, eating the whole lamb, and cracking the red Easter eggs!
Also, We follow and respect the church’s service traditions. Several liturgies are a big part of Greek culture throughout Lent, the seven weeks before Easter, and during the Holy Week, especially, on Holy Friday, Saturday, and Easter Day. The church’s liturgies run for many hours in the Holy Week, and the gospels read in church during this time recount the Passion of Christ, the painful days that led Him to the Cross, and finally to Resurrection.
Today we are Going to Show you LIVE What we do on Those 3 holy days to celebrate the Greek easter in Pieria every year!
On Good Friday, you can notice the sad chime of the church bells here in Pieria mourning the death of Jesus and organizing an Epitaphios procession.
The Epitaphios is a wooden construction covered with a piece of precious cloth, often adorned in gold and silver. It depicts the dead body of Jesus.
In the morning, The Epitaphios is decorated with spring flowers, mostly white, red, and purple until it is entirely covered. Then, they sprinkled with flower petals and rosewater, decorated with candles, and ceremonially considered as a mark of respect.
In the evening, the Epitaphios procession starts, the Epitaphios has been carried around every single town and village in Greece, led by the parish priests and followed by the faithful who hold lit beeswax candles.
Here in Pieria region, The group that was carrying The Epitaph from this church started marching and chanting in the evening. At the same time, groups with Epitaphs from the other Churches, Agios Dimitrios, and Agios Nikolaos in Litochoro started to go to the Pazari. The meeting point was where people and groups from all churches chanted together.
The Epitaphios procession in Pieria here
On Holy Saturday, there are various church services during the day. In the evening, people gather outside the church in anticipation of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which we call Anastasi in Greek.
In Orthodox tradition, the Holy Fire is said to be a miracle that occurs annually on the day preceding Pascha within Jesus Christ’s tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the Old City of Jerusalem.
In the church, a blue light is said to emit from within Jesus Christ’s tomb, rising from the marble slab covering the stone believed to be that upon which Jesus’ body was placed for burial.
The light is believed to form a column of fire from which candles are lit. This fire is then used to light the candles of the clergy and pilgrims in attendance.
On this night, we wear our Sunday best, carry a white candle, and go to church to attend the liturgy and wait for midnight.
Finally, at midnight comes the moment that all Orthodox Greeks around the world eagerly anticipate: The Resurrection ceremony when we can finally kiss and greet each other by saying Christos Anesti! ” Christ is risen!” and Alithos Anesti! “He has truly risen!”. Then, fireworks and firecrackers go off, and the rings of the bells are drowned out by the noise of fireworks displays throughout the country, lighting up the skies.
Then we return home, holding our lit candles. It is customary to make a cross out of candle smoke on the ceiling, just above the entrance door. This symbolizes the fact that Christ has risen from the dead.