Easter on Syros Island

A heavenly alliance

Syros Island is known as the Lady of Cyclades. Here’s one explanation for how it got this name: it’s the special and awe-inspiring experience people share here during the Easter period. The island is one of the few places in the whole world, where the Catholic Community – the largest in Greece – and the Orthodox Community go through the period of Christ’s Passion in an atmosphere of devoutness which has sealed their centuries-old harmonious co-existence.

Orthodox and catholic customs in harmony

On Good Friday locals and visitors go out on the streets, following the Epitaphios (every church prepares one), as is the practice throughout the country. What’s particular about Syros is that there’s an Epitaphios procession that starts from every church in Ermoupoli town – be it catholic or orthodox. Catholic processions start from San-Tzortzi church in Ano Syros (or Ano Syra) area and from Evangelistria Church in Ermoupoli and orthodox processions begin from the churches of St. Nicholas, the Dormition of the Mother of God, and the Transfiguration of Christ. In the place of Cherubim symbols carried along with the orthodox Epitaphios, Catholics carry cloaks, sponges and dice hanging from poles, which symbolise the Passion of Christ.
The processions all meet in central Miaouli Square facing the Town Hall where Good Friday hymns are chanted by the chorus of St. Nicholas’ orthodox parish. The feelings of piety and spiritual uplifting create an atmosphere of emotive harmony that is so rare to find anywhere else.

In Syros, it is customary for the congregation to bang the church pews, after the “Christ is Risen” chant, on Holy Saturday morning during the first Resurrection mass.

You will be very impressed during your visit to the catholic monastery of St. George (San Tzortzi) in Ano Syros or to the orthodox church of the Resurrection of Christ, on Dili hilltop, for the celebration of the midnight mass. You will greatly enjoy the feast of colours lighting up the sky as fireworks are set off from the two hills towering over Ermoupoli. And luckily enough, if the atmosphere is very clear, you will be able to discern the fireworks lighting up the distant horizon in the Aegean Sea, set off from Tinos, Mykonos, Paros and Naxos islands. After chanting “Christ is Risen” the Catholics follow the procession with the statue of Christ placed ahead and covered in flowers.

Get Inspired

Woman with dog sitting and looking at the view of the city from a green hill.

Explore Greece with Your Furry Companion

Travelling in Greece with your pet can be a wonderful experience. Whether you’re dreaming of a city break in Athens and Thessaloniki, a sunny summer holiday on the Greek islands, an outdoor adventure hiking up Mount Olympus, or exploring the forests of the majestic Pindus mountain range, there are plenty of opportunities to make your holiday dreams come true in Greece. And with a bit of preparation, you’ll be able to share it with your furry friend!

Medium black with little white dog on a leash on a road by the sea.

Around Greece with Your Pet

If you're travelling to Greece with your pet, let us offer you some tips to help you navigate the country with ease.

Travelling Beyond Barriers

Efforts to improve accessibility across Greece are ongoing, and Athens is leading the way in adapting the urban centre. From installing tactile paving to cracking down on illegal curbside parking and keeping ramps clear, authorities are taking steps to make it easier for people with disabilities to travel in the city and move around independently.