Festivals t2greece

Event: Easter
Activities:Easter is the most important festival of Greece and of the Orthodox Church, and it really worth to be seen.The first ceremony takes place on Good Friday where the “Epitafios”, an imitation of the Christ’s funeral bier, is beautifully decorated with many flowers by the women of the parish. The “Epitafios” is then paraded through the streets of the villages or the neighbours of the cities. In some regions of Greece such as Crete, this ceremony is accompanied by the burning of effigies of Judas Iscariot.A great celebration also takes places the Saturday after, for the Christ’s triumphant return. At the stroke of midnight, all the lights of the churches are extinguished to symbolize the darkness which envelops the Christ as He passes through the underworld. Then a priest appears at twelve o’ clock, holding aloft a lighted taper and chanting "Avtó to Fós… "(This is the Light…) and shares the Holy flame on the candles of near worshippers. Then, the worshippers share at their turn the Holy Light with their close neighbours until the entire church and the courtyard full of people are illuminated by the Holy Light. It is a beautiful spectacle.Then, unorganised fireworks explode in the streets around the Church. In some places such as Agrinion, men throw impressive fireworks and accidents occur every year.

Event: Epiphany
Activities:It is the feast of Ayía Theofánia, or Fóta, which celebrates the day when the “kalikántzari”or hobgoblins that appeared during the period of Christmas are re-banished to the netherworld by the church’s rites. During Epiphany, waters are blessed and evil spirits are banished. At lakeside, seaside or riverside locations, the priests throw a cross into the water and young locals dive to compete for the privilege and blessing of finding it.

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