Imagine the intoxicating aromas of roasting lambs over open flame, and homemade Easter breads baking in stone ovens, wafting along with the salty Aegean breeze, it tempts you, envelops you, beckons you to slow down and relax, just to take it all in. From the charming whitewashed churches festooned with bright pink bougainvillea, emanates enchanted song, as bells chime in elegant harmony, declaring all are welcome here. While animated friends and family fill the open air cafes to enjoy the new spring warmth, with loved ones from far and near, these are the beautiful Mykonian days and nights of the Easter season upon us now!
St. John Hotel welcomes you to experience Greek Orthodox Easter right here in beautiful Mykonos! Also known as "Pasha," it arrives a bit later than perhaps your Easter, as the date used for the Orthodox faith is calculated based on the ancient Julian calendar, versus that of Protestants and Catholics, which is based on the modern Gregorian calendar. But trust us, this short delay is definitely worth the wait and slight confusion, as Mykonos does Easter tradition along with superb modern luxury and chic, as only Mykonos, and the St. John Hotel can!
So why not do as the Greeks, and plan your island getaway with friends and family to celebrate a true Greek Easter that combines traditions and customs, along with the mandatory Mykonos beach time and parties by the sea as well! And in addition, Easter is the perfect time to celebrate the long awaited spring, with more mild weather, and the fields full of wildflowers. Allow the St. John staff to lead you in the right direction to make the most of all the local Easter activities, made even more enjoyable without all the typical summer crowds and heat, and a trip to the beach is most refreshingly peaceful. And as the locals are preparing their quaint churches for the festivities with a fresh whitewash and colorful floral decorations in and out, feel free to have a rare peek inside, including the unique tiny chapels and secluded monasteries not always open to the public, but at Easter time it's a special treat!
Easter season kicks off in Mykonian tradition, forty days before Easter at the beginning of Lent, when the holy icon of Panagia Tourliani Monastery in Ano Mera is carried in an hours long holy procession down to the main town of Mykonos, also known as "chora." There it is lovingly displayed in the Church of St. Helena until the Saturday before Palm Sunday when it returns back up the hill home. The following week is a flurry of activity, as island bakeries prepare the "lazarakia," a pastry shaped like tiny men, sweet and savory it's coated with sugar, clove and currants, and also the “lambrokouloures," a sweet Easter bread topped with a red egg, the traditional symbol of Christ's blood. And on Good Friday you must participate in the procession of the Epitaph (the bier of Christ), as various churches compete for the most beautifully flower-bedecked masterpiece. The following Holy Saturday, gathers all locals and guests at a midnight mass to receive the Holy Light which comes to Greece all the way from Jerusalem, passing throughout Greece. Then as fireworks light up the sky, a preliminary feast to end the Lenten fast, featuring the traditional Easter soup of lamb innards and greens called “mageiritsa” is served, followed by non-stop revelry throughout the night, which of course is nothing new on Mykonos!
Easter Sunday caps this Holy Week with an endless festive feast of whole lamb roasted outdoors on the spit, traditional onion pie, locally produced "kopanisti" cheese and "louza" sausages, more red eggs, and other assorted Greek and Mykonian specialties, served with love and joy to all.
St. John Hotel Mykonos extends a warm welcome to you and yours, with hopes you will someday join us for an authentic Mykonian Easter with all it's blessings and traditions, old and new... A Happy Easter and Happy Spring to all, from all of us at St.John!