Easter is the most important religious holiday for the Greeks, considered even bigger than Christmas. The holy festival, celebrated to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, accompanies the smells of spring and the rebirth of nature, but features some beautiful, traditional customs as well… Let’s check some of them out!


Baking Tsoureki and Dying Red Eggs
During the Holy Week, and more specifically on Thursday, Greeks boil eggs and then dye them red – or green, yellow and blue as well! No Easter basket will be complete without hard-boiled Easter eggs and especially red, since this colour represents the blood of Christ. Don’t’ forget to play the “egg cracking” game with the eggs, too. It’s yummy fun!

Everybody bakes the delicious, full of aromas sweet Easter bread, called tsoureki – or buys it from numerous bakeries because it’s a little bit tricky to make. It is traditionally served in Easter to break the Lenten fast and the three braids symbolize the Holy Trinity – it is also very popular throughout the year because it’s the best breakfast or tea or coffee “buddy”. And believe us when we say that with a huge glass of milk on the side it’s pure heaven!

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Let the Red Egg Cracking begin!
Everyone carefully selects one egg – the one that seems the strongest! The eggs are cracked large end to large end or small end to small end. The person to crack his/her chosen egg on top of another’s egg says “Christos Anesti” (“Christ has risen”) and the other responds “Alithos Anesti” (“Indeed, he did!”). The loser is obviously the one with the cracked egg, which then can be eaten, of course, sprinkled with a little salt and pepper! The winner with the strongest, un-cracked egg is said to have good luck for the whole year!


Eating Magiritsa soup
After the midnight liturgy on Saturday night before Easter Sunday, most Greeks enjoy magiritsa soup. This traditional dish is made with organ meats of the lamb that will be roasted the next day, lettuce, lots of dill and spring onions. It actually calms the stomach and prepares people who’ve been abstaining from animal products for 40 days because of the Lent period.


Roasted Lamb on a spit
Lamb is the meat that is most traditionally served on Easter Sunday. Families gather very early in the morning to start a fire and roast the lamb on a spit along with “kokoretsi” (lamb organs on the skewer covered with offals), enjoying a long lunch, singing and dancing. While spits will be turning in the courtyards, the aroma of the roasting meats really whets the appetite of the hungry souls.