Greek Easter - Thematic Weeks

Greek Easter

Easter is the biggest event in the Greek Orthodox calendar and guests at the Mistral will have the chance to celebrate in true Cretan style. You will join local people as they listen to the chanting of Easter rituals and join processions following an effigy of Judas.

Due to early Greek Easter in 2017, we will not be hosting this week

Easter is the biggest event in the Greek Orthodox calendar and guests at the Mistral will have the chance to celebrate in true Cretan style. You will join local people as they listen to the chanting of Easter rituals and join processions following an effigy of Judas.

In Crete, many Holy Week traditions are seen only on the island and in no other part of Greece, such as red eggs and Easter bread.  Throughout the Holy Week, the men collect and cut wood, marjoram, thyme and other shrubs and make a gully large enough to burn the effigy of Judas.  On Holy Thursday, the effigy will cross the village whilst the women give old clothes to dress "Dirty Judas" which is stuffed with hay.

Holy Thursday also sees the women knead kalitsounia (handmade cheese pies), buns and lamprokouloures which is like a small pretzel with three red eggs at the centre.  The red eggs symbolize Christ's blood shed from the spear of the Roman soldier and is an expression of joy due to the spring and Resurrection of the Lord.  Cretan tables are laden with olives, many types of cheeses (malaka, anthotiro, kefalotiri), vegetables, wild herbs, wine and of course, Tsikoudia or Raki.

Greek Easter Holidays

Holy Thursday

Today we visit the remote 13th Century monasteries of Gouverneto and Agia Triada or the 16th Century Gonia Monastery in Kolymbari for a special evening Easter service where you can light a candle and savour the heady smell of Jasmine and roses. Here you will see a symbolic tree bearing four different citrus fruits representing the coming together of the nations.

Good Friday

Voukolies Bazaar in the morning brings together hundreds of vendors and people from all corners of Crete.  This bazaar is unique to Crete and began at the time of Turkish occupation.  It was one of the key areas for economic transactions and social relations, mainly trading in live animals and vegetables.

Join the dignitaries and people of Chania who, accompanied by a band playing the funeral march, process solemnly through the streets following an effigy which has lain in church all week. When it finally reaches the Cathedral, it is held aloft by the priests as the congregation passes underneath, touching it for a blessing.

Good Saturday

Mistral guests will celebrate at a local church where just before midnight, the priest emerges carrying and ancient silver bible. On the stroke of midnight, the rituals come to a climax and the greeting "Christ is risen" is cheered by everyone. This is when the bonfire is lit and the macabre effigy of Judas is burned. The priest then lights the candle nearest to him, signifying the triumph of good over evil, and soon a forest of twinkling candles illuminates the scene. To bring good luck for the coming year, guests will carry their lighted candle back to the Mistral, stopping to make a sign of the cross over the doorway.

Easter Sunday

Preparations for the Mistral Easter feast begin early with a whole sheep and goat being roasted over a spit, as guests help to lay the long tables as family and friends arrive. The kitchen is a hive of activity all day with Mama Katerina baking special Easter cakes and dying hard-boiled eggs red for the custom of cracking them with friends. The feast continues for several hours and is accompanied by copious amounts of wine and laughter. Later in the evening, there will be traditional Greek dancing with live music.

The Greek Easter week is not something that most tourists have the privilege of experiencing first hand. Guests at the Mistral will be able to enjoy the true flavour of this special time by mingling with family and friends and taking part in the unforgettable and often moving Easter celebrations.

Easter Sunday at the Mistral Hotel

Dates and Prices
Greek Easter 2017 Standard room
7 nights
Deluxe room
7 nights
N/A N/A N/A

Repeat guests will receive a 5% loyalty discount. Prices include transfer from Chania airport , 7 breakfasts, 5 dinners (including wine and coffee), Easter Sunday feast, excursions and transportation costs. Prices do not include flights or travel insurance.

Typical Itinerary:

  • Wednesday - visit to Agia Lake for nature watching, lunch at Therisso Gorge
  • Holy Thursday - free day/evening trip to Gouverneto and Agia Triada monastery or Gonia Monastery in Kolymbari for the special Easter service
  • Good Friday (morning) - street market festivity in Voukolies and Easter fasting lunch at the Mistral
  • Good Friday (evening) - early dinner and attending the Effigy procession at Chania Cathedral
  • Good Saturday - midnight church service for the representation of the resurrection of Jesus
  • Easter Sunday - festivities and Easter feast all day at the Mistral
  • Monday - optional trip to the village of Argiroupoli (Minoan and Roman city of Lapa) and the water falls

Easter Sunday Festivities

Written by MSC Saturday, 12 April 2014



 

Dates & Prices

2017 dates and prices are now available - see the Online Booking facility for further information and to check availability.

Contact us on info@singlesincrete.com to secure your 2017 summer holiday and join in the celebrations. We look forward to seeing you!

 

Contact Us

Vassilis Gialamarakis - Mistral Hotel
Maleme Chania 73100,
Crete, Greece
Tel: 0030 28210 62062
Email: info@singlesincrete.com
Tel: 0203 318 3532 (Crete direct at UK National rates)

ΜΗΤΕ 1042Κ011Α0147400

Weather in Chania

Sunny

6°C

Chania

Sunny
Saturday 7°C / 18°C Sunny
Sunday 12°C / 20°C Partly cloudy