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Easter in Tinos

Tinos is a unique destination where the rich tapestry of traditional customs and religious ceremonies, both Orthodox and Catholic, are still fervently observed during Holy Week. The pinnacle of this unity is the 'common bank of Love', a testament to the island's spirit of reconciliation and brotherhood, where Orthodox and Catholics come together in a rare display of harmony.

For centuries, Tinos has been a testament to peaceful coexistence, with Orthodox and Catholic churches often standing side by side. This unique cultural landscape allows visitors to witness Orthodox customs and services and participate in Catholic ones, with the medieval custom of the Mysteries of the Passion taking centre stage.

Let's examine the customs and ceremonies of Holy Week that you can observe while vacationing on the island.

Candlesticks and the Catholic Custom of the Mysteries of the Passion

As a prelude to the Resurrection, housewives on the island gather at home at least ten days in advance to craft the iconic 'cheesecakes' or 'lamps '. These delectable treats are filled with a blend of fresh, unsalted Myzithra cheese, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. The quantities are carefully measured to last through the following feasts of St. George and St. Mark. Such is their popularity that these sweets are a year-round staple in all the pastry shops on the island.

On Maundy Thursday, watching the unfixing of the Crucified in Megalochari and the imposing church of “Panagia tou Rodario” in Xynara is worth watching.

On Good Friday, the prominent Catholic churches honour the medieval custom of the Mysteries of the Passion. We urge you to visit Panagia of the Rosary early on Good Friday to witness this profound tradition. Twenty-nine tools and objects, each symbolising a facet of Christ's passion, are meticulously raised by children in the heart of the church, accompanied by rhyming quatrains sung in the vernacular.

The Epitaph of Saint Nicholas entering the water

The evening procession of the epitaph in the villages is more overwhelming, while in the city, it is more impressive.

The epitaphs of the four parishes and Panagia meet on the marble platform of the old port for a joint prayer. The epitaph of Megalochari is sparsely decorated—and so is that of Agios Nikolaos, the city's Catholic. The furniture of the epitaphs is so elaborately decorated that only a tiny addition of flowers is sufficient.

When this ceremony is over, the epitaph of Agios Nikolaos heads towards the nearby Kalamia Cove. It enters the sea with the priest, the chanters and the hexapteryga. In contrast, crosses are lit on the opposite rock island, and boats whistle to pay their respects. This specific ritual, which has gained fame because it is spectacular, was established at the beginning of 2000 on the occasion of the death of two Tinians in an overseas shipwreck.

Resurrection with devoutness but also "tribonies"

On the morning of Holy Saturday, the First Resurrection takes place. At the time when the "God is risen with lilies of the earth" is sung, the priest of each parish scatters lemon leaves. Tradition says that whoever catches a lemon leaf before it falls puts it in their wallet to "always have money". If an unmarried girl catches it, "she will marry in time."

As the day progresses, the excitement for the Resurrection evening builds up. Every household air is filled with the aroma of delicious cooked dishes. The final touches are being made to the decorations, and the preparations are being completed carefully. It is a time of anticipation and joy as families and friends celebrate this special occasion.

On Resurrection night, if you want to avoid the sparklers, you can ask in which of the smaller villages they are resurrecting with less fuss (and what time). In addition, in Tinos, they also throw "trombones" with special weapons loaded from the front: the custom lasts for years, and the banging was considered to exorcise evil. Suppose you choose to celebrate the Resurrection in the courtyard of Megalochari. In that case, we promise you a brilliant spectacle due to the magnificence of the space.

Easter Sunday with festivities

Hospitable as they are, the locals will invite you to their celebrations and festivities on Easter day. You will be treated to delicious appetisers, traditional dishes, wines from the island's famous vineyard, and sweet, light Tinian raki, always after music and dancing. With the special Easter menus, you will enjoy all these flavours in the island's taverns.

On the afternoon of Easter Sunday, the vespers of Love and the icon of the Resurrection take place. You litany through the streets, with a wreath of flowers around it. In fact, at that time, there was intense competition between nearby villages for who would throw the most "trimbonias."

The Table of Love on Easter Monday

Throughout Holy Week, the "Common Love Bank", or "Agapi", is organised in various chapels and churches. Especially on Easter Monday, we suggest you go to Ktikados, Tripotamos and Kardiani – where they will invite you to sit with them (as long as your group is small). In Ktikados, Orthodox and Catholics gather in the courtyard, or the great hall, of Panagia Megalomata.

As Alekos Florakis writes, according to custom, "they join together as brothers, at the common table with food that each has brought - mainly boiled and roasted meat, veal soup and wine. During the ceremony, the priest delivers speeches that emphasise unity and Love while also honouring the deceased members of the village. White candles are distributed and lit with the priest's lamp. Neighbours ask for forgiveness if they hurt each other with words or deeds, reconcile and leave purified."

Easter in Tinos - Celebrate Tradition and Unity at Tinos Resort

Embark on a journey to Tinos, where tradition and community weave together into a vibrant tapestry of cultural heritage. Tinos Resort awaits you with a prime location just steps from the port, placing you at the heart of all the festivities. Every corner tells a story, and every face is a friend in waiting.

Are you ready to experience the deep spiritual significance of Holy Week ceremonies? Whether seeking a profound sense of reflection or a revitalising spiritual journey, these ceremonies can offer a truly immersive experience.

Join us at Tinos Resort, where the island's spirit is always alive, and the doors to culture, history, and a memorable stay are always open.

Celebrate, explore, and relax with us — Easter on Tinos is not just a holiday; it's a rich, cultural journey.

Ready to experience Easter in Tinos at its finest?

Tinos Resort is at the heart of the celebration. Just a few clicks away, your perfect Easter getaway awaits.

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