In early April, the first flocks of tourists fly from all over the world to Mykonos to expose themselves to the mild, sunny weather and the irresistible magic of this rare Aegean beauty! Half of the incomers are Greeks who have waited patiently all winter to join the members of the local elite in the first and most festive holiday of the year.
There is something absolutely unique and exceptional about celebrating Easter in Greece; a combination of mysticism and spring explosions of vivid colors and seducing scents. The crystal clear waters invite visitors to take the first swim of the season, and the golden sand beaches open their arms to welcome those who cannot stay away from their luxurious sundecks.
In the meantime, in Chora —Mykonos Town— and in Ano Mera, the main village of the island, preparations begin for this holy time of the year: the hundreds of small whitewashed churches and chapels seem to come alive, their bells tolling in a slow, sad rhythm that announces the martyrdom of Jesus before His Crucifixion and, then, the miracle of His Resurrection.
Day by day, during the Holy Week, feelings become deeper. Holy Friday is the climax of the drama, with the Epitaph passing by through the small alleys, all covered with flowers, while people respectfully bow their heads. Among the crowd following this candlelit deathbed of Christ, you will recognize the least expected to be there, like the DJs and the “party animals” whom you saw dancing till dawn at the night clubs three days ago.
People in Greece are usually very religious and very obedient to the Easter’s rituals and customs. These include the making of the “lazarakia”, a type of sweet pastry bread shaped like a man that has his arms crossed, the “Lambrokouloures”, round-shaped bread decorated with red eggs, in memory of Jesus’s blood shedding, and many other seasonal delicacies.
From Good Saturday noon onwards, the mood changes, as the time for celebration comes closer! Everyone gathers at the local church a little before midnight, to “witness” the Resurrection of Christ, with hundreds of fireworks blazing in the sky. Later that night, locals will eat the famous “mageiritsa”, a soup made of entrails and greens, while on the next day families will get together to enjoy a “royal” meal with roasted lamb and so much more!
And if you come from far away and are already caught in Mykonos’ magic spell, let these happy, laughing, dancing Greeks invite you in their courtyard for a glass of wine and a more than generous bite… Because Easter in this Aegean neighborhood is an experience not to be missed!
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