If you are planning on visiting Santorini in spring, Easter is the perfect week as here Easter isn’t just a religious celebration; it’s a symphony of traditions, each adding its unique note to the island’s cultural tapestry. Let’s traverse the island’s unique customs, with a complete guide of how to experience Santorini like a local, on Easter.

Flames of Pyrgos: Swarming lanterns

In the medieval village of Pyrgos, the evening of Good Friday unveils one of Santorini’s most atmospheric customs. Thousands of lanterns, meticulously arranged on terraces and ledges, come to life as the Epitaph procession passes by. Running children ignite the flambeaux, transforming the village into a magical inferno. Whether viewed from below, resembling a colossal flame, or meandering through the narrow alleys, Pyrgos’ flame dance is a relatively modern, yet enchanting, spectacle.   Flames of Pyrgos on easter

Megalochori Square: Rising of Lazarus

Come Lazarus Saturday, the central square in Megalochori witnesses the rising of the “Lazarus” — a towering cross adorned with rosemary and flowers. The village congregates for the decoration, an intricate dance of greenery and colour. The cross, a centrepiece in the square, remains a fixture until Ascension Day. Beyond the Lazarus custom, Megalochori is an authentic Santorinian gem, untouched by mass tourism, offering a taste of how the island “should be.”

Easter delights: From Melitini to Sgardoumia

Santorini’s Easter table boasts a delightful array of traditional treats. Melitini, small sweet pies filled with myzithra, stand as the island’s signature dessert. The evening of the Resurrection offers a chance to savour the unique Sgardoumia, a Cycladitic soup prepared with liver and lamb intestines.

Burning of Judas: An explosive tradition

Post-Vespers of Love, the “Burning of Judas” springs to life in many villages. Effigies, symbolising Judas, are filled with barrels and set ablaze. While the explosions echo tradition, keep an ear out for the “Balafoumades”, locals who craft improvised explosives, a tradition dating back to pirate days. Caution is advised, especially for those with young children.

Resurrection fireworks: A 360-Degree spectacle

For those enchanted by fireworks, the Resurrection night is a visual feast and an experience you should not miss out on. Journey to Prophet Elias, Santorini’s highest point, for a 360-degree view of the island’s fireworks. Alternatively, the Metropolis of Thira provides a more accessible option, ensuring you don’t miss the dazzling displays that light up the Santorini sky.

Sunny days: A splash in the Aegean Sea

As the southernmost island of the Cyclades, Santorini offers more than cultural delights. If you’re eager for your first splash of the season, the Easter holidays provide a perfect excuse. Embrace the island’s warmth, both cultural and climatic, making Santorini the ideal destination for a unique Easter experience.

Easter: A week full of tradition and fun

Easter in Santorini isn’t merely a religious observance; it’s a kaleidoscope of traditions that immerse you in the island’s cultural richness. From the fiery traditions in Pyrgos to the aromatic Lazarus in Megalochori, and the delectable Easter table, Santorini beckons as a unique destination for those seeking a celebration that seamlessly weaves together ancient rituals and modern revelry.

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