The Easter weekend kicks off on Good Friday (Megali Paraskevi), which is traditionally a day of mourning. An evening church service is followed by a solemn procession – the service usually begins at 7pm with the procession starting at 8.30pm, so make sure little ones are well rested before attending!
Easter Saturday (Megalo Sabbato) is a more upbeat affair and local children will spend the day preparing a bonfire and a figure of Judas, which will later be burnt outside the church. The Resurrection takes place at midnight and churches across Crete will be packed from 11pm onwards. Visitors are welcome to join the crowds spilling out onto the surrounding streets, and the lighting of the Holy Flame at midnight is an exciting moment – purchase a brightly decorated candle from one of the many local vendors and carefully allow children to light their own! It is recommended to take younger children back to the hotel or to a quiet taverna after midnight, as the celebrations can get lively with firecrackers exploding in the streets.
Easter Sunday (Kyriaki Tou Paska) is dedicated to the joys of Greek cuisine and is particularly welcomed as it ends the Orthodox faithful’s 40 day fast. A tender lamb will be spit-roasted, usually outside, and family and friends will come together to party and celebrate. A traditional soup called magiritsa is perfect for adventurous foodies and is made from lamb offal (usually the leftovers of the lamb to be roasted on Sunday) and a tangy egg-lemon sauce. No doubt children will prefer some tasty Easter biscuits (kolourakia) or cheese pies (kalitsounia).
Celebrate Greek Easter from the comfort of your own home with this simple recipe for traditional koulourakia biscuits:
- Combine 3 cups butter, 2 cups sugar, 3 egg yolks, the zest of one orange, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 cup orange juice and 3 tbsp brandy (optional).
- Blend well then gradually add 1.5kg of strong flour, kneading it until a soft dough is formed.
- Break off small pieces of dough and shape them into ‘S’ shapes before laying them on a greased and lined baking try.
- Brush the biscuits with egg yolk and bake in a moderate oven for about twenty minutes until golden brown.
An unforgettable Easter experience awaits families at Candia Park village. Overlooking the Mirabello Bay and close to the popular resort town of Agios Nikolaos, the hotel invites families and couples to a refreshing spring break filled with genuine Cretan hospitality, traditional cuisine and first class facilities promising fun and relaxation for young and old alike!