Easter at Agios Nikolaos

Palm Sunday In the morning, all churches offer crosses made of palm leaves and olive branches, reminding the triumphal entering of Christ in Jerusalem before the Passion. Holy Monday & Holy Tuesday. Church services take place in a devout atmosphere during the evening. Holy Wednesday. The service of Holy Unction is performed while the faithful kneel before the priests anointed with the Holy Oil to receive forgiveness. Holy Thursday Eggs are dyed red. The enactment of Christ's Crucifixion takes place in the churches. The faithful offer wreaths to Him. Good Friday. In spite of the mourning the day has a festive atmosphere. During the representation of the removal of the body of Christ from the Cross, it is sprayed with rose petals and placed on the Holy Altar. The Lamentations are chanted in the evening, followed by the exodus of the Epitaphs carried in procession through the main streets.

Holy Saturday

A morning playerful church service is performed. The priests dressed in white scatter bay leaves and rose petals while church bells ring happily and chanters hymn in praise of Lord. Before midnight all lights of each church are turned off and the priest appears at the Royal Door offering the Holy Light to everyone's candle. Then all priests carrying the Holy Icon gather by the Lake where the largest service of Resurrection takes place. Thousands of people with candles attend the symbolic "burning of Judas" in the water, while milliards of fireworks form a dynamic unforgettable atmosphere, bursting the tremendous impact of the event's message. Everyone's exchanging warm greeting and the "Kiss of Love "on the way home, where a special dinner is served with the traditional dish of "Magiritsa" (a strong tasteful soup made of innards and aromatic herbs. It is also served in most of the restaurants on the same night). "Breaking each other's egg" starts now, which is also one of the oldest Easter traditions.

Easter Sunday

During the "Service of Love" the Gospel is read in different languages to express the fact that the message of Christ's Resurrection transmits its redemptive Power to the people of the world. And of course , one of the most spectacular customs of the Cretan Easter is the roasting of lambs, everywhere around, with everyone eating, drinking, singing and dancing, all day long!
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