Easter 2023

Greek Easter is one of the most celebrated Christian holidays. It is observed by many Christians around the world on the day of resurrection, according to Christian belief. It is an important feast in the Greek calendar and a joyous celebration that takes place every year.
It commemorates how Jesus Christ rose from the dead, bringing new life to those who believe in him. Few people realize that Greek Easter has different dates depending on the church calendar used and the date of Easter, but the celebration remains similar. In this blog, we’re going to tell you all you need to know about Greek Easter, its significance, and how it’s celebrated around the world.
When is Greek Easter in 2023?
Greek Easter 2023 is observed in many countries around the world, such as Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Serbia, Moldova, North Macedonia, Cyprus, Montenegro, Georgia, Belarus, and Russia. This year it will take place from April 14th to April 17th. Good Friday will be observed on April 14th. Easter Day will be observed on April 16th. Easter Monday will be observed on April 17th.
In Greece and other Orthodox countries of the world, the day of resurrection is known as ‘Easter’ day or ‘Erezus’ day (Greek: Πάσχα/Πέργων). The day after Easter is known as ‘Ostara’ day.
The date of Easter varies from country to country and depends on different factors like the lunar calendar used in each particular country and the church calendar used by Christian denominations. In Greece and other Orthodox countries of the world, the date of Easter is determined by adding 12 days to the season of Paschal full moon (known as “Nisan”) which falls between March 21-26 of each year.
The paschal full moon is called the ‘Easter’ full moon (Greek: Πάσχα μερικός) on account of its importance in the Christian tradition.
The Greek Orthodox Church also calls this day ‘Pasko’ (Greek: παστο) which means ‘feast’. The date of Pasko can vary from one year to another depending on various factors like leap years or the church calendar used by Christian denominations.
Celebrating the Blessing of Greek Easter
Greek Easter is one of the most important religious festivals in Greece. It’s also known as Pascha and it commemorates Jesus Christ’s resurrection.
The date for this religious day varies and usually falls on or around April 16th each year. This day is marked by family gatherings, feasts, and merrymaking. The Greek term for Easter, Agio Pascha translates to ‘Holy Easter’.
The celebration of Greek Easter is unique to the country. It involves symbols and ceremonies that reflect the Christian faith. Some of those symbols include dukkah, eggs dyed bright colors, Paschal lamb, and bunnies.
Greek Easter is an exciting time for families to get together and enjoy good food and music while celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Unique Traditions and Customs
Greek Orthodox Easter or Pascha is the most important religious feast of the year for Greek Orthodox Christians and is observed uniquely. The celebration starts with a church service, which includes reciting prayers and reading liturgies, followed by a meal with family and friends. This meal includes roasted lamb, Tsoureki (a sweet Easter bread), and Magiritsa (a soup made of lamb, rice, and dill). After the meal comes a fun day of festivities that often includes appetizers of smoked meats and cheeses, boiled eggs, and red wine, followed by a soup and spit-roasted lamb. Some families also enjoy making traditional Greek Easter desserts such as mousses, tarts, and pastries.
Going to church is an important part of the celebrations for most Greek Orthodox families. They follow their church’s customs when it comes to carrying out the Easter traditions. Some families prefer to celebrate Pascha on a Sunday morning while others opt for the weekend before Palm Sunday. Each family has its way of enjoying this holiday season.
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Fasting during Lent
As part of their participation in Lent, Greek Orthodox Christians traditionally abstain from meat, dairy, and other animal products for 40 days before Easter. During this time, it is common for them to observe a total fast by avoiding food after sundown on the day of Easter. This is known as the Great Lent. While fasting during Lent is an important part of their faith, all Greek Orthodox Christians don’t need to follow it.
The primary purpose of fasting during Lent is spiritual growth and development. It involves engaging in activities such as reading Scripture and praying, which can help individuals better understand God’s love. The period of fasting also teaches them how to be more mindful and caring toward others. Moreover, it helps instill a sense of purpose and mission in life. Through these experiences, they can better recognize their calling and purpose on Earth.
Fasting during the 40 days of Great Lent is not a burden for those who can observe it properly. However, those who suffer from medical conditions or are on a special diet should consult with a medical professional before beginning a fast. Likewise, those following this practice must stay hydrated and consume nutritional intake throughout the fast period.
Dyeing the Red Easter Eggs on Holy Thursday
On Holy Thursday, Greeks dye real chicken eggs red to symbolize the blood of Jesus Christ. The color of the egg is important as it represents the resurrection of Christ. Traditionally, this was done using a colorant made from onion peel, while now people use ready-made red dye or decorate the eggs with stickers. In the Orthodox Church, eggs are also dyed red as they symbolize fertility and new life. On Good Friday, some people abstain from cooking, while others make simple foods like tahini soup. Easter Sunday is a day of celebration and many people play a traditional game of cracking red eggs. This is done by slightly opening the crack on top of an egg and then quickly closing it again.
Baking Easter Sweets – Tsoureki and Koulourakia
Tsoureki is a type of traditional sweet bread made to celebrate Greek Easter. It contains flour, butter, eggs, sugar, milk, and spices and is decorated with a red egg. Tsoureki is delicious and can be eaten warm or cold. In Greece, Easter is celebrated with a special bread called tsoureki. This bread is usually decorated with red eggs and is a popular Easter tradition. Making tsoureki is a fun process that takes time. It usually involves family members coming together to make the bread. Koulourakia is another Easter sweet made from butter and sugar. This biscuit is coated with spices and is usually eaten after coffee or tea. Both tsoureki and koulourakia are simple but delicious Easter sweets that are loved by people across the globe
Easter celebrations in Greece are full of joy and excitement. The religious festivals of Easter bring people together to share the spirit of togetherness, love, peace, happiness, and good health.
Eggs are also a part of these festivities since they symbolize rebirth and new life. All these contribute towards making Easter celebrations in Greece grand and colorful
Where to Celebrate Greek Easter?
The Greek Easter is the most important holiday for the Eastern Orthodox Church and is a great opportunity to enjoy authentic Greek traditions. The arrival of the holy fire from Jerusalem is one of the most popular Easter customs in Greece. In Athens, you can experience traditional Greek Easter customs, including the celebration of Easter with family and friends at a church service. Another popular holiday activity is spending time outdoors hiking, camping, or visiting a beach. If you’re planning to travel to Greece for this holiday, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with local Easter customs. You can start by reading about them online or chatting with locals about their favorite activities. Besides, you can also visit any of the events related to Easter in your destination.
How to Say Happy Easter in Greek
In Greek, it is common to use the phrase kalo Pascha to wish each other a Happy Easter. This phrase is used for several reasons, such as wishing good health and happiness during this festive season or expressing gratefulness for a bountiful harvest or sunshine.
The next popular phrase is Christos anesti, which means “good resurrection”. This phrase is used to convey gratitude for a blessed life or for a resurrection of hope in times of grief or despair. The third expression that Greeks say before Saturday night is alithos anesti, which means “good evening”. This phrase is used to greet friends and family members on the holiday.
Easter in Greek is called Pascha. Traditionally, Christian Greeks celebrate this holy day as a day of feasting and fun. In most households, bread called tsoureki is made and decorated with red eggs for Easter.
Easter is the most important feast of the year for many Christians, and we hope you’ve enjoyed this Greek Easter tradition for generations. Being able to celebrate it in a different language or with family members who don’t speak your native one is very special. Besides, being able to share stories and traditions with other people is also something that makes Easter special. We hope you’re blessed by the holiday and look forward to celebrating it with you! Happy Easter!

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