You are very welcome to celebrate Greek Easter in Crete with us and surprise services will be waiting for you during your stay! Greek Easter in Crete is celebrated with many local customs and traditions. Easter (Paska in Greek) is surely the most important holiday in Greece, and in the Greek Orthodox Church. Greek Orthodox Easter usually falls one to five weeks after the Catholic Easter. Easter is a great time to be in Crete, for the beautiful and religious ceremonies, for the many traditions, for the good weather and for the days of feasting and celebrating. If you have decided to spend your Easter holidays in Crete, do it all the way. Visit the villages of the island and you will meet the genuine Easter tradition of Crete.
Fasting During The Big Lent
Kathara Deftera marks the start of Lent and 48 days of fasting, before Easter, although nowadays few people strictly fast for the whole of Lent. Easter fasting excludes meat, fish (but not seafood), eggs, oil and dairy products from the diet. During this period, Cretans consume mainly, fasting traditional dishes, such as snails and greens.
Easter Egg Dyeing
On the morning of Holy Thursday, women in Greece boil eggs and then, dye them in the colors of flowers, mostly red. The red color of the Easter eggs symbolise either the blood of Christ or the joy of spring. Right after Resurrection and during Easter day, everyone clinks eggs with one another. Winner is the one, whose egg doesn’t crack.
Cretan Easter Treats
On the morning of Holy Thursday women in Crete start kneading. They bake “kalitsounia”, handmade pies with Cretan cheese, Easter biscuits and buns in circular shape. Normally, in the middle of the circular bun are placed three red eggs, symbolizing the Holy Trinity. Generally, Easter treats are made of milk, eggs and cheese. Cretan Easter treats are made to be eaten after Easter Saturday when the fast ends.
In the evening of Holy Thursday, the Epitaph is decorated with flowers and wreaths. After the church ceremony, everyone take the flowers of the Epitaph, as they believe that they will bring grace to their home.
Burning of Judas
Easter in Crete is characterized by the special custom of Judas Burning. Before Resurrection and during Lent, in all villages, children gather woods and leave them at the yard of the church. On the eve of the Resurrection, they make a large pile of woods. At the top, they place a scarecrow symbolizing Judas. At the Resurrection, when the priest sings the hymn to the “Risen Christ”, the bell of the church rings and fireworks create a spectacular scene in the sky.
Traditional Dishes On The Festive Table
On the day of Easter in Crete, the “twinge of lamb” is a common custom throughout Greece, which has become popular also in Crete. Like in every Cretan feast, Cretans accompany their meal with traditional music and dance.
During the Easter days we experience the traditional Cretan Easter at Physis Villas together with our guests. Join us!