The Easter weekend starts with on a sombre note, with quiet processions filling the streets on Good Friday (Megali Paraskevi). Locals carry flower-laden epitaphs around the neighborhood, with different areas competing with each other to produce the most beautiful display. Visitors to the city will enjoy a trip to the Church of Agia Irini in the heart of Athens, as it is here that the famous Greek Byzantine Choir performs their annual program of Easter hymns.
On Easter Saturday (Megalo Sabbato), in a ceremony conducted for over 1200 years, the ‘Holy Fire’ is lit at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The flame is flown into Athens on a specially chartered flight and received by the Church of Agioi Anargyroi in Plaka, where multiple candles are lit and sent to churches throughout the region in time for the start of the midnight service. For a truly memorable Resurrection experience, head to Lycabettus Hill and the Church of Agios Georgios – you’ll be treated with gorgeous views across the city as neighbourhoods light up with tiny candles and fireworks mark the passing of midnight.
Easter Sunday (Kyriaki Tou Pasxa) is probably the most fun day to be a visitor in the city as the streets are filled with people feasting and celebrating. Head to the tavernas of Plaka to enjoy a day of spit-roasted lamb, carafes of local wine, live music and dancing!
Celebrate Greek Easter from the comfort of your own home with this simple recipe for traditional mageiritsa soup:
- Sauté 1 chopped onion and 1 clove garlic (minced) in a large pan.
- Add 1 pack of finely chopped lamb offal (lungs and small intestines of one lamb) and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add 30g of cognac and allow to evaporate for 3 minutes. Add 1.5l vegetable stock and boil for 30 minutes.
- Add 6 chopped spring onions, 1/3 bunch of chopped dill, 1 roughly chopped lettuce and 100g rice (glutinous variety). Continue to boil for a further 20 minutes, until the rice has cooked. In a separate bowl, whisk 2 eggs with the juice and zest of 2 lemons plus 1/4 tsp salt.
- Add ladlefuls of the soup to the egg mixture, always whisking continuously. When the egg mixture has fully blended with enough soup, add it all back to the soup pot and serve with freshly ground pepper.
Celebrate Easter in the northern suburbs of Athens, enjoying the colourful springtime flowers that embrace Life Gallery athens. Combining luxury with style and warm hospitality with discretion, the hotel promises to provide unforgettable moments throughout this a very special holiday period. Authentic Easter dishes and a unique revolving dinner await at the Kool Life restaurant, showcasing the signature touch of famed Greek chef Yannis Baxevanis and head chef Dionysis Zacharopoulos.