Easter in the air of Mykonos

With the Greek Easter usually falling in the month of April, 2024 is one of the years when its celebration, based on the ancient Julian calendar, is moved to May, the most beautiful month in the Western hemisphere. April, especially at its beginning, can be very unpredictable in terms of weather. But in May, spring envelops the Cyclades – this unique cluster of islands in the Aegean Sea – like a fine transparent fabric, made of colors and aromas. It is the time when Mykonos, one of the most fascinating Cycladic islands, welcomes visitors dressed in its most flamboyant clothes – lively green in its meadows, bright turquoise in the sea that drenches its magical coastline, pink and fuchsia in the bougainvillea that adorns its white-washed chapels and unique blue in the sky.

The temperature is usually perfect for a swim in the clear waters, as well as for an open-air dinner under the stars. And while restaurants and clubs have already opened, ready to satisfy the demands of the millions of people who come to Mykonos every year from all over the world, they have many special surprises for Easter visitors.

Because, apart from the wonderful Easter traditions that are repeated every year with reverence by the faithful, what is truly special is the gastronomy of this great feast. The season kicks off forty days before Easter at the beginning of Lent, when the holy icon of Panagia Tourliani Monastery in Ano Mera is respectfully carried down to the main town, known as “chora”, by the locals who form a long queue praying, and singing hymns. The icon will be displayed in the Church of St. Helena until the Saturday before Palm Sunday when it will be carried back to the Monastery.

During the following week bakers will prepare the “lazarakia,” a sweet pastry shaped like a tiny men figure, coated with sugar, and the “lambrokouloures,” an Easter bread decorated with a red egg. Following the tradition of the Lent people won’t be eating meat and dairy until the morning of Holy Saturday, while on the day before, called Good Friday, it is a must to participate -or watch- the procession of the Epitaph, escorted by the slow, mournful ringing of the churches’ bells. On Holy Saturday locals and guests will be attending the midnight mass to celebrate the news about the resurrection of Christ. Then, with the sky lit up by the fireworks, they will rush to houses and restaurants to taste the mouthwatering Easter soup of lamb and greens called “mageiritsa”.

The festivities will last through the evening of the Easter Sunday with non-stop dancing, drinking and eating roasted lamb, red eggs, traditional pies, and famous Mykonos specialties like sausages, “louza”, and spicy cheese, followed by the most delicious traditional sweets.