Easter in Aegina
On Maundy Thursday leave work, have your suitcase ready, and hop on the last boat to Aegina. Within one hour you are across and your Easter holidays …have begun!
The island tavernas offer many options of dishes for those fasting, like shellfish, ouzo for friends and whatever else catches your appetite. The next day, Good Friday, will see the three epitaph litanies of the city (Metropolis, Panagitsa and Agios Nikolaos) meeting in front of the City Hall before returning back to their parishes. The beach of Aegina fills with people and warmth from the candles and the chants echo throughout the city. In the other villages of Aegina, the litany of the Epitaph is more characterful local but equally evocative.
The day of the Resurrection, Holy Saturday, is spectacularly celebrated in churches and monasteries of the island, with plenty of crackers and bells ringing. The options to enjoy the sacrament are many: Agios Nikolaos and Panagitsa in the city, monastery of St. Nektarios, Monastery of St. Catherine, Monastery of Saint Christopher, Monastery of Panagia Chrysoleontissa, Perdika, etc. and for later, traditionally cooked soup in a ‘taverneio’.
Of course, on Easter evenings the island is alive and animated, almost like summer, and don’t be surprised if you see several familiar faces here and there.
And something you did not expect
On Easter Sunday in Aegina, besides the spit-roasts, two traditional customs are revived: the burning of Judas in Anitseo accompanied by fire-crackers and the Easter Dance in the courtyard of the Church of the Cross in Palaiochora from 10 in the morning until 12, with live folk music and lots of dancing.
After the holidays are over, you pack your suitcase and return to your home. But this time you are coming back with a different, traditional island air, completely revitalised even though your getaway was only 3-4 days long…