21 April 2015

Cretan Easter

Greek Orthodox Easter is not the same time as the easter back home, this year it was one week later and it is very important and celebrated. Many people still do fasting in Greece which starts 40 days before easter on Clean Monday and ends at midnight on Easter Sunday. People go to church in Saturday late evening and get back home to have a traditional night dinner, with lamb of course!

So, this was the first time for me to have an Easter experince in Greece. We spent Easter in Kastri, went to Easter church and had a great time eating with the family in Jimmy´s Taverna on Sunday afternoon. Children are having holiday two weeks around the Easter, one week before and one week after (!), back home in Finland kids have only two extra free days, friday and monday.

Holy fire or Holy light is described by Orthodox Christians as a miracle that occurs every year at the Chuch of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Great Saturday / Holy Saturday, the day predecing Orthodox Easter. The light is getting transported from Jerusalem to all Orthodoks people around the world py plane and it arrived also to Kastri from Jerusalem! Lighten by candle to candle, like Olympic fire..fascinating! Here you can see linked a photo from Jerusalem where it all starts! More photos from Jerusalem in HERE.

With this specidic candle the Holy Light arrived to Kastri!

On the Great Saturday we had huge wind and I do mean HUGE! I was told not to worry, since already when Georgia (from Jimmy´s Taverna) was a little girl, her grandmother told her, there is never wind on the night of the Great Saturday and so it happen, suddenly the wind stopped and next days we had fabulous weather!!!

We were inside of the church and the priest came with the light and giving light to the people to their candles. He was moving his big long cnadle in the air and making sign of the cross in the air and asked people to come to pick the light. Was actually little amusing, since people had difficulties to catch the light, but after all I think the time in the Church was not serious at all when I was looking the people around me. People were smiling, whispering and waiting the late dinner :)

Here people have just come out and holding their Holy Lights and waiting the priest to come out too.

Priest has come out and he walked three times around the church, many people following him..

Already some days before the Great Saturday, people were explosing all kind of noisy bombs on the streets (my doggy was so poor about it!) and actually during the service in the church, the noise which came from outside was outstanding!!! Just before midnight it was the turn for the fireworks, just like in New Year! Considering that we spent Easter in a tiny village, I can only imagine how it would be in cities...

Bonfire is also Easter tradition and I was looking the fire beside the church.

Service is finished and people are leaving with their holy lights and ready to eat :)

Photo above taken just after midnight, Jimmy putting lambs on the grill. Dinner can start!

Fire works or what is left from it the next day...

Ready to eat with the family on Sunday afternoon, Mother and Daughter

Father and son

Son and the grandmother

Mother and her mother

Now we are ready to eat, Kali Orexi!


  1. Erittäin mielenkiitoinen ja kaunis tapahtuma.Hyvin kirjoitettu ja kuvitettu.Täyttyipä tuo sivistysaukko vähän lisää.

  2. Tämä pyhä tuli juttu oli mullekin ihan uusi! Koin sen todella symboliseksi ja kauniiksi. Tapa oli aiemmin muillakin kristityillä, kunnes joku paavi 1200- luvulla päätti, että se ei kuulu enää jatkossa katolisen kirkon perinteisiin.


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