Easter in Kefalonia is a glorious festive event worth to live, no matter your religious beliefs. It’s spring, nature is in celebratory mood and so are the people!
The traditions and the warm spirit and joy of the locals, make for a truly memorable experience!
The celebrations culminate on Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday with grand festivities and banquets:
At Holy Saturday midnight, as the clock chimes to welcome in Easter Sunday and the Resurrection, the locals gather and hurl firecrackers at the central square or church of each village. The island is shaken by the sound of the fireworks in a spectacular celestial sight and the celebrations begin from Argostoli square in order to mark the Resurrection of Christ.
The historical fact that few people know is that during the wartime occupation of the island, Easter was the only time the islanders were permitted to use any form of explosive, and the resistance fighters used the opportunity to try out their home-made bombs, and any firearms they had.
The candles people carry have all been lit from the “Holy Flame”, a candle inside the church. It is said that if you make it home without your candle going out is a good blessing for the next year.
Holy Sunday is celebrated on large, family and friends, banquets with roasted lamb, rapping red eggs and a festive mood that lasts until late at night. The following week in Kefalonia is called the New week to mark the new beginning after the Lord’s resurrection.