Spring! Probably the best time of year to be in Nafplio. Blooming bougainvilleas adorn the beautiful picturesque alleys, windows wide open in the old mansions, freshly painted pots with colorful spring flowers. The city of Nafplio at this time is decorated with flowers and banners, in a devout atmosphere from the churches' hymns flooding the streets. Everything is preparing to experience the Divine Passions; to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord.
Countless emotions follow one another, during the Holy Week...
Holy Week in Nafplio
The Municipality of Nafplio is an area, that keeps alive the country's religious customs. On Lazarus Saturday, the custom of "Lazarakia" stands out, where women knead small buns for the children and they form groups, visit the houses and sing "Lazarus' carols". Palm Sunday is celebrated with great splendor in all the churches of the area. On Holy Thursday, the painting of the eggs, the kneading of the traditional bread, the buns and the cookies of the "Lambri" (Easter cookies) stand out. If you are near a church late on Holy Thursday's night, go inside to watch the custom of decorating the epitaph. There is an anguish every year for the best decoration...
Good Friday in Nafplio: A must see
The most special part is the gathering of the Epitaphs on Good Friday, in Syntagma Square in Nafplio. The epitaph of Agios Georgios, under the mourning processions of the Philharmonic, follows a path in the busy alleys of the old town. On the other side, the choir of Panagia accompanies the epitaph in the funeral march, with the faithful following the route from Psaromachalas to the narrow alleys and stairways ("Dromoskales") and ending at Syntagma Square. Lanterns, illuminated houses all the way, faithful holding lighted candles, psalms, compose a cinematic setting of devout overwhelming emotions...
Epitaph in Tolo
An alternative proposal is the passage of the Epitaph through the sea in the area of Tolo. The custom is brought by the Cretans, who first colonized the area, thus offering honors to the sea. The custom has been reviving in the recent years, with young people holding up the epitaph into the sea, lots of sparklers adorning the sky and many people following.
Resurrection & Easter Sunday
The Resurrection is celebrated with great magnificence in the churchyards, under the light of candles and the smell of incense, which mixes with the intoxicating smell of night flowers. If you are in the old city, then the options for celebrating the Resurrection are many. Agios Georgios (St. George's Metropolitan church) with the platform being set up in the square, right in front of the church, the ceremony of Panagia church being transported to Syntagma Square, to announce the pleasant event, Agios Anastasios with a lot of people flooding the big square overlooking the port of Nafplio, Agios Konstantinos church in Synoikismos district, the Holy Trinity church in Pronoia district and of course the "Evangelistria" Church, with the large courtyard and outstanding view of the entire city.
In the tradition of Easter, the lamb roasted on the spit of Sunday is the protagonist, symbolizing the lamb that is sacrificed, and is skewered with feasting and food and drink. The music, the dancing, the cracking of the eggs, the teasing and the preparation of the entire Easter table guarantee the best Easter experience, perhaps… in the most beautiful city of Greece!