Greek Orthodox Easter – customs and traditions

Greek Orthodox Easter, the biggest celebration of the year for most Greeks, with a lot of special traditions and – under normal circumstances – family gatherings.  

How do Greeks celebrate Easter?

The preparations for the Greek Easter actually start on “Kathara Devtera” (Clean Monday).The Greeks celebrate “Kathara Devtera”, which is the last day of CKalo Pasxa Kopiearnival and the first day of the so-called “fasting period”.

From that day onward until Easter people might greet you with “kali sarakosti” (We wish you a nice 40 days), since there are 40 days till the Holy Week, the week before Easter Sunday. From Clean Monday till Easter Sunday children could count the 7 weeks with a traditional “Kiria Sarakosti  or Lady Lent Calendar”.

Many people nowadays  do not bother so much about fasting after Kathara Devtera, but they start fasting again for just one week before Easter, during the Megali Evdomada (Holy Week).
Nevertheless, for those who can do without eggs, milk, meat, etc… for 40 days, in every shop you will find “nistisima food”, the foods you can eat during the fasting period.

Greek Easter is a very special and holy time indeed. Even for non-religious Greeks, the atmosphere is special and it is a part of the Greek culture and traditions. During the evenings of the holy week, you can hear the church services every day. On Good Friday the candlelit funeral procession takes place in every church(in Corona-free times).

Learn more about Greek Easter here.

  1. Holy Monday to Holy Wednesday
  1. Holy Thursday – Red-Dyed Eggs
  1. Holy Friday
  1. Holy Saturday – Jesus Christ’s Resurrection
  1. Easter Sunday – The Traditional Spit-Roasted Lamb of Greek Easter
  1. The meaning of ‘Kali Anastasi’
  1. Greek Easter decorations


We wish all our readers celebrating Easter here in Crete  Καλό Πάσχα !
The Kissamosnews Team




I'm Austrian living in Tavronitis, love nature, music, good books, sunsets, the sea, travelling, socializing and more. I came to Crete as a student in the early 70s, exploring the west and southwest of the island with friends by motorbike. When you are young everything is important and, there are lots of things to do...I did. Job, family,children, travelling the world. But I never lost my love for Crete for a minute. And seven years ago I ended up in this convenient corner of Crete, not only for holidays, but to stay and haven't regretted it for a minute.