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Au sud de la Crète

10 Reasons to celebrate Easter in Crete

Easter holidays are just around the corner and Crete is the most suitable destination - Separate customs, feast and farewells set the ritual of the Easter days.

 

       Why Easter in Crete?

  1. For Judas in the Fire

From Chania to Ierapetra and from the big cities to the smaller villages, Judas burns spectacularly on the night of Resurrection - elsewhere, as in the villages of Rethymnon, this is done during the Epitaph. The custom is said to be in some regions and "Orphanos", while the most particular Judas is considered as St. Nicholas of Lasithi, as the burning takes place in the lake. On Thursday, young people gather from the mountains the chenpoids with which the "Founara" will be built, where "Yuda" will be burned, while many houses set up their own little fountain in the courtyard of the house for the sake of good.

 

  1. The fun of ... the feast

On Good Friday, along with the Epitaph, the villages are "wandering" and they feast. All the houses have their doors open and a table covered with nuts, orange slices, olives, potatoes and naturally abundant raki. The Epitaph is standing in every house, housewives praise him and his followers enjoy the treat.

  1. The silence of small villages

In the small villages of Crete the inhabitants are so few, and the visitors even fewer, who seem to be involved in a small ... conspiracy, which intensifies even more the devout atmosphere. From the most special moments you will live in Kapetaniana in the prefecture of Heraklion and in Milia in the Prefecture of Chania. Both of them were ruined villages, but their homes were restored by worthy people and turned into beautiful hostels with excellent restaurants. Silence is the Resurrection in the miniature church of the Kapetanians (if you choose Milia without a church, go to beautiful Panagia Chrisoskalitissa, in Elafonissi) and family or Easter Sunday, as if it is a guest at home in the village. In Agia Roumeli on the other hand, at the exit of the Samaria Gorge, although it does not even drive, but a boat from Sfakia.

  1. Fast food - and not just…

Cretan people, even during fasting, eat well, taking advantage of all the goods of nature. At this time, the wild artichokes, eaten raw with lemon, have their honor. Beans or lupins, bulbs, chopsticks in various recipes, snacks, stamnagathi and other herbs cooked in pies or croquettes are the best snacks. For those who do not fast, fresh Cretan cheeses like Mizithra are also produced in the spring.

  1. For the miraculous orchids of Lasithi

The Epitaph of St. John the Theologian in the village of Marmaketo , on the Lassithi plateau, is one of the most special of Greece and "miraculous", according to the believers. First of all, it is adorned with the famous "violos" of Lambros - "sweet moments", the local people say, "a variety of wild orchid that women gather from the countryside of Dikti for an entire week. On the Day of Resurrection, the flowers come out of the Epitaph and are hung in wires in the temple. On May 6th, the day of the Saint's feast, the thousands of orchids hanging in the wires, withered or even dry, "bloom" again. The fact is also scientifically interpreted, because the flowers hold moisture inside them, but the locals say it is the work of the saint. The orchids are kept by the faithful throughout the year as a hint and meditation.

 

  1. For bellows and meat without tomorrow ...

After the Resurrection and the entire Easter Sunday, the bells in the churches hit endlessly and without any programming. Anyone who passes by accident at a church has the right to strike the bell either to carry the resurrection message or, in one version, to "charm" against the headaches of the year. At the same time, from early Sunday morning, the tables are stacked. In Crete, huge quantities of meat are consumed anyway, so Easter is lost for everybody - especially since most of them have been fasting. Lambs are sown in each house, they are placed next to goats with thick salt, corn cobs, even racks with chopsticks, steaks, etc. The feast lasts until the evening, while there is also the kandas.

  1. For the magical atmosphere in the cities

In Heraklion, the Epitaphs meet in the heart of the old town, next to the Lions. In the center of the city, the Epitaphs of Sitia meet, accompanied by the philharmonic, but highly devoted is the operation at the historic Toplou Monastery. In Rethymnon, the walk of the Metropolis and Mikri Panagia in the Venetian city fascinates and ten Epitaphs with their choirs meet at the gate of Guora, at the Square of the Martyrs. At the same time, Byzantine choirs perform concerts, often in temples, but this year's program has not yet come out. In Chania follow the Epitaph of the Metropolis, which crosses the old city.

  1. For the blessing of the "nodes"

At the feast of St. George, on Easter Monday , it is worth visiting the livestock villages to see the special blessing of the animals. Thousands of animals are transported to the squares, blessed by the priest, and then milking on the spot. Their milk is boiled and shared in the world, accompanied by other dairy and Cretan cakes. A typical example is the village of Asi Gonia, on the borders of Chania-Rethymno, and the Kumoi of Rethymno. 

  1. For unforgettable meals

There is not much to comment on the food of Crete, which on Easter days has its honor!

  1. For the first dives of the year

Take advantage of the warm waters of the Cretan Sea and enjoy the first dives of the year. All the capitals of the prefectures have beaches near them: Chania and Rethymnon on the outskirts, if you choose Heraklion, the nearest beach is Amoudara, while in Agios Nikolaos you should go to Plaka and its shallow beaches. At Sitia, head east and reach the majestic Vai with the palm trees, while in Ierapetra and the warmer of the Libyan Sea you can swim in one of the three beaches of the city or Agia Fotia.

 

 

 

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