The church of Agios Nikolas Ragavas in Plaka was where the first free Orthodox Easter in Athens took place in 1833!!!!
Easter in Greece. Passing Easter vacations in Greece – not always as with Catholic Easter- is more than a must experience, since Easter celebrated more than Christmas. Easter celebrations begin two months earlier, and Holy Week is the peak of all activities. People celebrate coming of Spring in Easter, die red eggs, godparents buy presents and a large candle called lampada to the kids and neighborhoods are dressed up to accept visitors across Greece. So happens in Plaka.
As for Plaka, Orthodox’ Easter celebrations are located here. The three days you definitely have to follow in Plaka Easter Calendar is Good Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
On Good Friday or Great Friday, where Jesus’ corpus in inside the temples in Epitaphios, bells toll across Greece in sorrow tone. The Procession of the Epitaphios of Christ, the Epitaphios mourns the death of Christ, as the symbolic coffin, and is decorated with thousands of flowers. Later Epitaphios is being taken out of the temples and carried by ordinary people, through the neibourhood. In Plaka, this periphery, as it is called, attracts thousands of guests. After one or sometimes even two hours, Epitaphios returns to the temple, were people pass underneath it as they enter the church. Good Friday leitourgy ends late at night.
On Saturday morning there is the First Resurrection “Anastasi”. In Plaka, at the Metohi of Panagiou Tafou many people gather to pray and collect earlier the Holy Fire from Jerusalem..
During the night of the Holy Saturday (Megalo Savato), people, dressed in their formal outfit, gather in the churches from 11 p.m. for the Easter offerings, carrying their large white candles, lampada, given by their godparents. At midnight Jesus is being soundly resurrected, singing “Christos Anesti” (Jesus Arose)! And people return home to eat properly, the Resurrection Meal and many restaurants and hotels offer a menu like it. It is a light meat dinner, in order for the stomach to be prepared for the meat consumption of Sunday.
The following day, Easter Sunday, is spent again with family, friend and the meal contains salads, vegetables, lamb and of course, wines, tsipouro and ouzo. In Plaka taverns have outside special “souvles” – grills- where they put lamb.
Here is a map of Plaka churches!