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Greece travel facts

Greece map
Area (sq km): 130,850
Population: 10,668,354
Nationality: Greek
Local Name: Ellas,
Ellada
Language: Greek,
Turkish,
Macedonian
Time Zone: +2 GMT
Currency: 1 euro = 100 cents
Rate: www.xe.com
Capital: Athens
Dialling Code: +30
Electricity: 220V/50Hz
Internet Code: .gr
Religion: Greek Orthodox,
Muslim
Climate: Mediterranean
Government: Parliamentary Republic
Inoculations: None
Driving: Right
Int'l License: Not Required
Banking: M-F 8.00-14.00
Major Airports: Athens(ATH),
Corfu(CFU),
Mykonos(JMK),
Santorini(JTR)

Easter in Greece, Pascha and Greek villas

During Easter in Greece (also known as Pascha), no matter whether you are Orthodox, Catholic or of any other faith, witnessing and taking part in the festivities from Greek villas is a wholly moving experience. Candles are lit, effigies are ensconced in flames, rose water is sprinkled and great feasts take place with flowing wine and roasting tender lamb.

Pascha, Easter in Greece
Pascha, Easter in Greece

The week leading up to Easter, or Pascha, in Greece is packed with ancient traditions, time honoured rituals and lots of good fun. It is a time to celebrate rebirth and renewal and even the countryside seems to take part. This is when Greece blooms, literally. The hills and fields are blanketed in rich warm colours as Greek villas are surrounded by newly budding flowers. The air is filled with luscious scents and the promise of summer.

Rent Greek villas for Palm Sunday

The week’s celebrations begin on Palm Sunday in Greece with masses held in remembrance of the last week of the life of Jesus. The churches are decorated in purple and white for Easter. Thursday is dedicated to The Last Supper and to the betrayal of Christ. The people bake the Easter bread (tsoureki) and paint Easter eggs.

Some are painted red to signify the blood of Christ while some are painted in bright spring pastel colours that signify rebirth. You can hear the church bells peal from Greek villas and a statue of Christ is often brought into the churches.

On Greek Good Friday the figures of Christ are taken down and wrapped in white embroidered cloth called epitaphios and are showered with holy rose water. Flower petals are thrown over the cloth also and the Greek flags are lowered to half mast. During the evening mass a funeral is held for Jesus. The shrouded figure of Jesus is carried through the streets in a sombre procession that in many communities leads to the waters edge. Rent villas in Greece and stand in the front row to witness this sombre and important spectacle.

Pascha

Easter Saturday in Greece is a very special day. This day in Jerusalem the Holy Fire is released from the tomb of Christ and makes a sort of pilgrimage. The flame is flown to Greece carried by priests and government officials. The flame arrives at the church of Agia Anargyroi and from there spreads throughout the country by being passed on from candle to candle until all of Greece is awash in a soft dancing light.

Before the flame is distributed, however, all of the churches and homes extinguish whatever lights they might have on. The priest emerges from the doors of his church with a single flame and proceeds to light the people’s candles. It is nothing short of remarkable to watch this happen when you book Greek villas with VillasPeople.com.

Easter Sunday, also called Pascha, is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus and the country attends mass in the morning and then returns home for a massive feast. Usually a spit roast lamb is accompanied by fantastic wine. While it is a highly religious affair, Easter in Greece it is the biggest event on the Greek calendar and should not be missed, no matter your religious views. Book your Greek villas now to ensure you do not miss a moment of Greece’s Easter Week.

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