An Easter getaway in Halkidiki is like no other. The local traditions & customs give a different meaning to this big Greek religious holiday making it colorful.
Embrace the Mystical Spirit of Easter in Halkidiki
With respect to the Greek traditions and customs, Halkidiki is an excellent location to celebrate Easter. Dressed in the cheerful colors of spring and committed to the local customs, Halkidiki provides the ideal scenery for an Easter getaway. Although all villages celebrate the biggest religious holiday in Greece with the utmost devoutness, each community is identified by special traditions which can make your vacations really colorful.
Burning of Judas and the Kantari
One of the most distinguished customs of Easter in Halkidiki is the burning of Judah on Holy Saturday. If you have booked a room at the Hotel Kriopigi in Kassandra, the nearest locations to witness this ritual is in Pefkohori and Hanioti. When the holy light is spread and people sing the Christ has Risen hymn, Judah is burned and so is evil.
Easter Sunday is celebrated with lamb, egg fights, and tsoureki while in the mountainous area of Arnea, the locals wear traditional costumes, treat visitors with red eggs, and get ready for the tradition of kantari. This takes place the following day and involves a scale where people are weighed. The one that weighs the more – which means that has eaten the most the previous day – is the winner.
Black Aloni & Of Khar’kou t’Aloni
A little bit further from Kriopigi but still close enough for a getaway the rituals known as Black Aloni in Ierissos and of khar’kou t’aloni in Palaiochori go back to the days of the Turkish rule. Three days after Easter, the locals hold a memorial and the reconstruction of hundreds of people slaughtered during the Greek War of Independence in 1821 and thus the chance for visitors to experience some customs that provide a hint of history too.
Horse Racing & Egg Fights
In Lakoma and Mesimeri, the people have egg fights. This is a tradition that symbolizes the clash between good and evil and Christ’s resurrection. The same day, the people in Sykia organize a horse race and the ceremony involves the riders carrying the icon of the local church’s saint.
Easter in Halkidiki is interesting and colorful. It gives visitors the chance to celebrate this holiday in a unique way and make small excursions from one village to the next to observe the local customs that bring a bit of history to the table but also a smile to everyone’s face.