Why do you go on holiday? Perhaps you just want to bask in the glorious sunshine, have a dip in the sea, relax and unwind. Or maybe you’d like to spend your time more “productively”; getting acquainted with every nook and cranny of charming historical places and world class heritage sites. In Crete’s arguably most picturesque spot you can have the best of both worlds! Indeed with its stunning natural scenery, rich architectural legacy and array of enchanting folkways, Chania beckons both the “active” and the more “relaxed”.
Explore Chania in Easter
At this time of year the town’s magnetic pull is even more pronounced. Spring here means a lavish, evergreen scenery combined with mild weather that even permits swimming; whilst the absence of tourist hordes serves as an added bonus. What’s more, this is the time of Easter: A particularly magical occasion in Chania, blending devoutness and spirituality with a festive, liberating crescendo, which is in fact captivating. Base yourselves at the Adeste Luxury villas in Chania and prepare for an unforgettable experience.
Expect to uncover a wealth of age old customs and traditions as you explore Chania in Easter: Meticulously observed up to nowadays by the locals, they are bound to fascinate you; move and inspire you even.
It all starts on Clean Monday, signifying the commencement of the Easter lent which will last for the following forty-eight days. The most devout will eat no meat nor fish – nothing with blood. Yet lenten Cretan delicacies are so delectable that they may turn even the most staunch meat lover into an arden vegetarian. Explore Chania and its traditional tavenas during this period to sample and savor treats like snails, cuttlefish with fennel and olives, marathopita-pie filled with fresh fennel- or kaltsounia, made of “myzíthra” cheese or greens and herbs and wrapped in pastry.
Explore Chania during the Holy Week and get carried away by the sweet smelling scents permeating the air, as homemakers bake koulourakia (sweet rolls) on Holy Tuesday. On the following day they will do their house chores, while in the evening they shall attend the blessing of the Holy Oil in church.
Holy Wednesday, is the day that Jesus was betrayed by his infamous disciple. To commemorate this sad occasion children build an effigy of the hated Judas, dress it up, and parade it around the streets encouraging passersby to “Spit on him! Injure him!”. They also amass twigs and sticks in the churchyard to prepare for the “Founara”, the big bonfire that will light up the sky after the Resurrection on Saturday.
Holy Thursday brings about the custom of dyeing eggs red, to signify the blood of Christ. Later on after the 12 Gospels are read in church, unmarried girls shall decorate the bier of Christ –Epitaphios– with garlands of white and purple flowers.
On the next day, the saddest of them all, the bier shall be taken into the streets at night, while devotees will follow it holding lit candles and singing solemnly, sad hymns. This is a deeply touching, emotional parade which you’ll encounter as you explore Chania during Good Friday. Follow the Epitaphios of the metropolis church at the center of the old town for an unforgettable, truly stirring experience.
Holy Saturday, brings on a change of climate. Locals and visitors alike, gather at the mass taking place at midnight, to receive the Holy Light coming all the way from Jerusalem. The theatrical and dramatic meet with elevation and joy as attendees light up their candles, passing the flame on to each other, until the entire church is ablaze with burning candles. Bells ring and the sky is floodlit with fireworks. The burning of Judas also takes place after midnight. With lights, sounds and traditional mpalothies (i.e. shooting guns in the air) evil is exorcized and the miracle of the resurrection is once again affirmed.
Holy Saturday also signifies the end of the lent. After 48 consecutive days of fasting, to prepare their stomachs for the banquet that shall ensue on the next day, people eat the traditional Easter Mageiritsa: A kind of tripe soup made from lamb entrails and egg-lemon sauce- which is in fact delicious. Do try it in one of Chania’s restaurants (you shall need a reservation though, let our Adeste Chania luxury Villas concierge, arrange everything for you!) and then head to the town’s many bars to celebrate with gusto.
Zestful festivities culminate on Easter Sunday with massive friends and family gatherings across the island of Crete. Lamb cooked in a variety of ways, along with copious amounts of wine and raki, is on the menu, while dancing, singing and general merrymaking abound. Locals tend to be generous with their invitations; and partaking in such a feast would be both an honor and a treat. Yet if you’d rather celebrate Easter privately, with your loved ones, you may also put together your own party at the Adeste Chania luxury villas with the help of our chef on demand service.
Easter is indeed a fantastic time to explore Chania and its myriad alluring, time honored customs and traditions. We cordially invite you to come and find out for yourselves! Indeed we would be happy to have you with us at the Adeste luxury villas in Chania during this most magical time of the year.