Traditions and customs in the Sporades Islands.
Easter in Greece is a big celebration, as it is an important religious feast in the Orthodox Christian religion. There are many traditions and they vary accros the country. It is not celebrated on a standard date, it changes every year, but it always happens in spring. The nature is blooming, the flower smell of lilac is everywhere. So what a better timing to explore the Greek islands and especially, the Sporades Islands?
The main islands are Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos and Skyros, which are relatively close to each other, while the weather conditions are most of the time calm. The characteristics of the islands are the green landscapes, the beautiful coastal towns, as well as the unique beaches with golden sand and emerald waters, surrounded by lush nature. Each of the islands have very distinct personalities and different customs in Easter.
In Skiathos, on Holy Thursday, the children make crosses out of rosemary and reeds, carry them as they sing the traditional song of the day . Then throw them on the rooftops of the houses. The ritual of the Epitaph happens at the crack of dawn of Holy Saturday, instead of in the evening of Good Friday. The processions and Epitaphs of the two churches of the town of Skiathos, meet at around 4 a.m. . After that, they follow each other in the paved alleys.
In Skopelos, there are a lot of monasteries where the church ceremonies of the Holy Week take place in heartwarming way. On Holy Thursday, in Glossa’s churches they reenact the earthquake and sounds of the Crucifixion. At the monasteries of Timios Prodromos and Euaggelismos, the the ritual of the Epitaph happens in the morning of Good Friday, instead of in the evening. On Easter Sunday, most of the people eat grilled kid (katsiki) or goat, which are local and famous in the area.
In Alonissos, the church ceremonies of the Holy Week take place in Patitiri, as there’s only one priest. On Easter Sunday, as in Skopelos, they also grill kids (katsiki), which is also local and special. For desert there are kourabiedes, which in Alonissos are eaten all year round, not only on Christmas. On the second day of Easter, a big festival happens, in honor of Saint George. There, the people eat, dance and offer rice milk pudding, made of milk of the local farmers.
Saint George is also largely celebrated in Skyros, but on the third day of Easter. The celebrations start in the evening of the second day of Easter. All the residents of the island, gather on the monastery of Saint George for the vesper. The celebrations also include music and food treats.
So, why not try something different this Easter? Sail With Us in the Sporades Islands!
Sail With Us
Iasonos 82, Volos
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