Easter in Skiathos
Spending Easter on Skiathos, the island of “the saint of the Greek literature”, is definitely a spiritual experience, as the locals observe the monastery ritual of Mount Athos, and live the Passion Week in devoutness and deep contemplation. The sound of the funeral bells ringing, and the scents of the nature in blossom blend harmoniously in sweet melancholy. Visit the island and soak up this overwhelming and mystical atmosphere.
In the morning, the Christians go to church to receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ in a symbolization of the Last Supper. Afterwards, the women return home to dye the eggs red and bake the Easter cookies and the Easter brioche (“tsoureki”), whereas the kids go around from house to house holding cane crosses adorned with rosemary, violets, roses, lilies and poppies, and singing Easter songs for tips.
People decorate the Epitaph, as the tradition wants the Crown of Thorns of Jesus Christ to be covered with flowers. On this day of bereavement, the devout Christians are supposed not to eat anything, or even greet one another; only kids are allowed to sing psalms in improvised choirs in the streets.
Contrary to the rest of Greece, the Epitaph Mass here will start at 01:00 and the circumambulation at 04:00. The litany will pass through the narrow streets of the town of Skiáthos, where the houses are all lit and people at the windows wait to see the procession approaching, lead by a man with a strong voice who recites the funeral psalms before the rest of the participants sing them.
At 05:30 the litany will have returned to the church and everybody will shout “Open the gates!”, while the senior priest will be shoving the gate of the church open in a representation of the descent of Jesus Christ to the Underworld.
At dawn, people return home from church to get some rest before going back for the First Resurrection service. This time the bells will ring in a joyous way to celebrate the victory of life over death, and the priests will hold palm tree leaves, i.e. symbols of victory and triumph, to sprinkle the Christians with holy water.
In the afternoon, religious rituals will smoothly let gastronomic desire prevail, as everyone focuses on the preparation of the Lucullian Easter meal.
For your stay in Skiathos, you can book a room in one of the hotels and Bed & Breakfast inns.
In Skiathos town, as well as in many other areas of the island, there are hotels and accommodations of various categories and types (rooms to let, residences, Bed & Breakfast inns, studios, hostels, guesthouses and furnished apartments) that can satisfy every visitor's demands and needs for a pleasant and enjoyable stay.
You will find wonderful hotels, rooms and apartments to let of all categories and price ranges.
You can reach Skiathos by ship or speedboat mainly from the ports of Volos and Agios Konstantinos.
Regular flying dolphin and catamaran routes link Skiathos to Ag. Konstantinos, Volos, Thessaloniki, Alonissos, Glossa (Skopelos) and Skopelos. Skiathos is connected, especially during summer period, to Alonissos, Glossa Skopelos, Skopelos, Syros, Thira, Paros, Heraklion, Tinos and Naxos.
The airline connection from Alonissos to Athens and other Greek regions and cities abroad is via Skiathos. There are regular routes that last 35 min. The island is connected directly to air charter flights, especially during the summer season with: Amsterdam, Vienna, Copenhagen, Milan, Berlin, Belgrade, Gothenburg, Zurich, Manchester, London, Munich, Oslo, Dusseldorf, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Frankfurt.
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For your convenience, you can use the route map on the field “Routes” with information about the mileage, the time you need and the route you will follow, selecting the points of interest.