Easter in Thessaloniki
Easter is certainly for the Orthodox the largest and most moving religious feast, one of the strongest moments of the year for the faithful.
Thessalonians spend lot of time at the liturgy in the church, follow the Holy Week rites in commemoration of the Passion of Christ and celebrate His Resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Housewives prepare tsoureki which are traditionally prepared for Easter and they paint and decorate eggs with red color. Tsoureki (τσουρέκι in Greek) is the traditional sweet bread Greeks make every year on Holy Thursday and eat it on Easter Sunday. Tradition has it that the tsoureki symbolizes the Resurrection of Christ and rebirth in general as the flour is molded into shape and takes life as it transforms into bread. Then, the red-painted egg that is usually placed on top symbolizes the blood of Jesus.
On Good Friday in churches Epitaphios (a wooden canopied bier representing the tomb of Christ) is covered with flowers of various colours. At the end of the evening service a procession takes place headed by Epitaphios, the priests and acolytes. People follow along the streets of the city, listening to psalms being chanted.
Besides visiting its main attractions, museums and galleries of the city, it’s a great opportunity to experience Orthodox Easter in all of its glory!
thessalonikitourism.grgives you a few hints to turn your Easter holidays in Thessaloniki into a set of memories to treasure for life.
Any day of the Passion Week visit the magnificent church of Agios Nikolaos Orphanos, one of Thessaloniki’s most precious hidden treasures at the Northern section of the city’s walls. Marvel the frescos of a bygone era and unwind in its verdant garden.
On Good Friday don’t miss to join the procession of the Epitaph at 5 p.m. at the church of Agios Minas in Thessaloniki.
The Byzantine Churches of Agios Dimitrios, Agia Sophia, Pammegistoi Taxiarches, Hagia Aikaterini, Panagia Acheiropoietos, Agios Panteleimon, Panagia Chalkeon, Osios David and Agioi Apostoloi, (all included in UNESCO world heritage list), will give you the opportunity to travel back in time.
If you wish to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ in a Monastery, the Vlatadon Monastery in the picturesque neighborhood of Ano Poli is a must, when you can have majestic vistas to the city.
Also in the heart of the city we suggest you the impressive monastery of Agia Theodora, and in village Vassilika, not far from the city, in the monastery of Agia Anastasia Farmakolytria (St Anastasia the Curer) back dated in 888, the celebrate of the Resurrection of Christ could be a lifetime experience.
Easter in Thessaloniki is a celebration of the senses that we invite you to discover and share!
photos by www.agiosminas.gr