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Mykonos Easter Traditions

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A classic, white, Cycladic chapel with a bell, against the clear Greek blue sky.

Throughout Easter time in Mykonos flowers are in bloom, the sun is shining, and spring awakens the tourist season as people begin to flock to the island from all over the world. Greek Easter is the highlight of this spring and is the holiest of holidays for Greeks.

During Greek Orthodox Holy Week, visitors swarm the islands and villages of Greece as they leave the cities behind to celebrate the holiday with family and friends. Mykonos combines all the traditions of Easter with a cosmopolitan luxury flare!

In Mykonian tradition, the holy icon of Panagia Tourliani Monastery in Ano Mera is brought to the main Chora or Town of Mykonos at the beginning of Lent, 40 days before Easter. Locals and sightseers follow on foot. The procession with the icon lasts up to 2 hours. On the Saturday of Lazarus (the day before Palm Sunday) the icon is returned to its original home. On that day all of the bakeries on the island prepare “lazarakia” a sweet pastry shaped like little men with their arms crossed that is topped with cloves, sugar, and currants.

Throughout Holy Week bakeries and homemakers make a traditional sweet bread called “Lambrokouloures” and that they decorate the pastry with eggs that have been died red.

Beginning with the evening of Good Saturday and continuing through Easter Sunday is a time for heartfelt celebration. Islanders gathers at churches scattered throughout the island where they wait to receive the Holy Light (a flame lit in Jerusalem, brought back to Greece, and distributed around the country). A feast follows where everyone eats the traditional “Magiritsa” soup of greens, and boiled lamb. You can be sure that partying is expected every night if you’re visiting Mykonos, even during Easter time. Easter Sunday is the culmination of Holy Week and is the day of the most lavish feast. Lamb roasted on the spit, onion pie, kopanisti, cheese, louza (Mykonian cured ham), red eggs, and assorted of salads are served throughout the day of celebration!

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