Easter in Athens

Greeks are always keen to celebrate. We’re a social people with a strong community spirit, and will look for any opportunity to bring friends and family together to enjoy a barbecue, some tsipouro or raki and of course a bit of dancing. But there’s one particular annual event that’s both a time for remembrance and giving thanks, as well as a celebration of life, and that’s Easter.
During our time filming in Athens we were blessed with many fascinating and unique experiences across this sacred period. From being on the runway as the holy flame arrived from Jerusalem and then walking with the procession through Athens with our candles, to feasting at a street party to celebrate the resurrection – the whole experience was an eye-opener. Not just for the colour and excitement of it all, but more so for how it reinforced our belief that Greek people are proud of their religious faith and while many places in the world are starting to have their traditions rapidly eroded away, here in Greece there’s a firm grip on the past. The people are passionate about their history and also incredibly communal. In our experience it was evident in how sharing neighbours were during this time and their welcoming attitudes to outsiders. Folks we had never met before allowed us to be part of their family and share a meal with them. Others would embrace us and say “Kalo Pascha” with a smile. Our Easter Sunday actually ended by blocking the street as we danced and sang with our newfound friends, not to mention breaking a few plates.
Looking back, our time in Athens has been a real highlight of the My Greek Odyssey journey so far. Not so much for the incredible landmarks that the city is best known for, but for the fervour for which the locals celebrated Easter and made us feel at home.