Easter is an important religious event in Greece, and Tinos, one of the Greek islands, offers a unique and authentic experience during this period. Greek Orthodox Easter is celebrated after the first full moon of spring, usually in April. In 2023, it will be celebrated on April 16.
Easter is not just a one-day event in Greece. The Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter Sunday, is a week-long event in Tinos. There is a different event every day, and the entire week is marked by solemn religious ceremonies, fasting, and other festivities.
During the Holy Week, different days are dedicated to different saints or events. Holy Monday, for example, is dedicated to Joseph the Patriarch, while Holy Tuesday is known as Great Tuesday, and it is when the locals of Tinos make a sweet Easter pie made of unsalted cheese called tsimpito. Holy Wednesday is dedicated to the woman who anointed Jesus' feet with myrrh. Many churches hold a ceremony for the anointing of the sick.
On Holy Thursday, the day before Good Friday, Greeks dye their Easter eggs red, symbolizing the blood of Christ, and bake tsoureki, a sweet bread that will be eaten on Easter Sunday. On Holy Friday, the epitaphs, decorated with fresh flowers, are carried through the town, followed by a funeral procession, re-enacting the burial of Jesus.
Holy Saturday is the first Resurrection, and you will hear “Christos Anesti” greetings between Greeks. In the evening, the Great Fire arrives from Israel. In Tinos, it arrives by boat late in the evening, and it is greeted with fireworks and celebrations. On Easter Sunday, families gather to eat and spend time together. Roasting lamb is a popular dish, and many families celebrate with traditional Greek music and dancing.
Tinos is one of the best places to experience Greek Orthodox Easter. The island has a special place in the hearts of Greeks due to the Shrine of the Panagia Evangelistria and the church associated with it. The church houses the Icon of Mary, found during the Greek Revolution of 1821, and Orthodox pilgrims come here from all over the world to see it.
If you plan to visit Tinos during the Holy Week, it is advisable to book your accommodation well in advance. Many Greeks head to their home islands or villages for Easter, and it can be challenging to find available accommodation during this time. Check with your hotel for the events happening in Tinos town during the week, and make sure to wear comfortable shoes if you plan to attend the procession on Holy Friday.
In conclusion, Greek Orthodox Easter in Tinos is a beautiful and rich cultural experience. From the solemn religious ceremonies to the lively festivities and traditional dishes, Easter in Tinos offers a unique way to immerse yourself in Greek culture and traditions.
Book your stay in Tinos (and 90+ more destinations) via HotelBrain via our exclusive rates for GreekList Members.