Easter is the most important celebration of Christianity and during Holy Week events and Christian customs take place in all parts of Greece. Leros is no exception! The whole island is being prepared days ago for Easter time, the houses are painted, the sweets and the Easter eggs are preparedby the housewifes.
During Easter the island is indeed a unique destination, as it coincides with Spring and nature is really beautiful. From the castle of Panagia you can see the whole island in bloom and you can smell the scent of flowers. The alleys are filled with people waiting for the bells to ring, so they can go to the church and light a candle for their loved ones who are no longer alive.On Holy Wednesday, housewives prepare the tsoureki (a type of fragrant Easter brioche) and the Easter buns. The next day, always in a devout climate, families dye the eggs in red, which symbolizes the blood of Christ who sacrificed himself. Also, early in the morning,women gather the most beautiful flowers from their yard and decorate the Epitaphios(a wooden canopied bier representing the tomb of Christ). Platanos in the evening, is illuminated only by the candlelights of the believersthat accompany the Epitaphios throughout the island and the sound of mourning bells just adds to the mystical climate that prevails.
Dawning Holy Saturday, the island starts to move at a faster pace. In the morning there are preparations for the forthcoming festive dinner with the leading dish of homemade magiritsa( soup made with chopped offal and herbs). Later in the afternoon, all locals are well dressed and holdwhite candles, while attending silently the church. As soon as the Christ is risen, fireworks illuminate the sky, the bells ring happily and everyone returnsback home for the festive table and the Easter eggs.
At the peak of the celebrations for the resurrection, on Easter Sunday, every family gathers together and dance traditional songs, bake lamb and spend time enjoying nature!
For all reasons above, the experience of Easter in Leros will remain unforgettable because you will have the opportunity to feel the true spirit of Christianity in an authentic Greek and traditional atmosphere.