Bright Monday

The churches on the Acropolis, bright in the Easter sunshine.

In Greece Easter Monday is referred to as Bright Monday – indeed the whole week after the Resurrection is known as Bright Week – and bright it certainly is. Symi is enjoying exceptionally fine weather at the moment and those visitors who decided to spend their Easter break here have not regretted it. There may be a few showers later in the week but we are unlikely to have any significant rain now until October.

One of the many churches in the oldest part of Chorio, decorated with flags and bunting for Easter.

An Easter Explosion on the road above Chorio on Easter Saturday.
Anything from old artillery shells and dynamite to fertiliser is used to make the biggests bangs possible.  It becomes virtually a competition between the different parishes.

Easter in Greece is special because it is still primarily a religious festival. Each day is marked by its own specific services and traditions which are taken very seriously, hence the taboo on manual work, particularly carpentry, on Good Friday and Easter Saturday. The one that always takes foreign visitors by surprise, however, is the bangs. During the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services, making loud noises to keep the devil or evil at bay is part of the liturgy, just as loud celebratory explosions mark the Resurrection at midnight on Saturday night. More loud bangs are a feature of the burning of the effigy of Judas on the evening of Easter Sunday and this year this was followed by a very grand firework display. In previous years the municipality has also laid on a communal lamb spit roast in the town square but this year there was no free feasting in the new austerity Greece. There was, however, a great deal of old fashioned communal pooling of resources as families, friends and neighbours celebrated together in traditional style.

As St George’s Day fell on Easter Saturday this year, all the Georges in Greece are celebrating their name day today, Easter Monday. It is also a bank holiday so most shops and businesses are closed until tomorrow.

Christos Anesti!


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About this Blog

I sailed into Panormitis Bay, Symi, by chance one windy July day in 1993 and have been here ever since. The locals tell me that this is one of the miracles of St Michael of Panormitis. A BA graduate with majors in English, Philosophy and Classical Civilisation, the idea of living in what is to all intents and purposes an archaeological site appeals to me. Not as small as Kastellorizo, not as touristy as Rhodes, Symi is just the right size. I live on a small holding which my husband and I have reclaimed from a ruin of over-grazing and neglect and turned into a small oasis over the course of the past 22 years. I also work part-time for Symi Visitor Accommodation, helping independent travellers discover and enjoy Symi's simple pleasures for themselves.

This page is kindly sponsored by Wendy Wilcox, Symi Visitor Accommodation.

Adriana Shum

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