When we get our travel group together to explore the unique and historical places the world has to offer, we like to familiarize ourselves with the culture we’re visiting. At Women Traveling the World, we’re so lucky to have seen the places we’ve seen as well as the places we plan to see. We have visited some truly beautiful places over the years and map out our trips perfectly to ensure that we have the time to absorb as much of the culture as possible.

Women Traveling the World to Greece

Greek Orthodox Easter 2015 is on April 12th

One of our favorite trips had to have been our singles vacation to Greece. We learned so much about the culture, and with Easter coming up, we thought we’d share some fun Greek Easter facts with you. However, before we get into the list, let us mention that Easter is the most sacred holiday within the Greek Orthodox faith, so this is a pretty big deal.

  • Those of the Greek Orthodox faith begin planning for Easter towards the end of their Holy Week which is between Palm Sunday and the day of Easter. It’s on the Holy Thursday before Easter when Greek households make traditional Easter bread that they call, “tsoureki,” and they also die eggs red to signify the blood of Christ. Why an egg you ask? Since ancient times, Greeks have looked at the egg as a symbol of renewing one’s life as well as taking victory over death.
  • Holy Friday is spent as a day of mourning, and that means they don’t participate in anything, including cooking. On this day, the church bells ring sorrowful melodies, and flags are hung at half-mast. Before they attend church for the evening, women and children will often take flowers to decorate the symbolic statue of Christ. Once the death of Christ is mourned, the community comes together for a procession that takes them to the cemetery and back to the Church while members of the congregation follow them while hold candles.
  • Now it’s Saturday. This is the day in which families begin preparations for their Easter Sunday feast. Keep in mind, those who follow the Greek Orthodox faith strictly have been on a fast for over 24 hours, and that fast isn’t broken until midnight when the next day finally arrives. The church service at midnight is attended by all as the anticipation for the resurrection grows.
  • Once the sun rises on Easter Sunday, you can smell all the fire pits and grills being lit. The traditional Easter meal is a whole roasted lamb which represents the “Lamb of God.” On top of the full lamb, they also make traditional accompaniments as well as indulging in some wonderful Greek wine.

Once the Monday hits, all the Greek Orthodox families spend the day relaxing and eating delicious leftovers just as any other religion following a big holiday. If you’re never visited Greece or educated yourself on their culture, we strongly suggest that you do. Greece is one of the most beautiful places that our women’s travel group has visited, and we highly recommend it as an international travel destination.