Greek Easter Greetings: Say Happy Easter in Greece

Greece Easter fireworks
••• An Easter tradition: The Panaghia Erithiani Church is hit by rockets from supporters of the Aghios Marko Church during the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos'. Leon Neal/Getty Images

During Easter in Greece, travelers are likely to hear a few different greetings and phrases like "Happy Easter" in Greek, "Kalo Pascha," which is written καλό Πάσχα.

On Easter Sunday, many Greecians will also greet others with "Christos anesti" ("Christ is risen"), and other Greecians will then respond "Alithos anesti ("truly, He has risen"), which is similar to "He is risen, indeed." People in Greek start celebrating at midnight Saturday night (Sunday morning) with cheers of "Christos Anesti," huge displays of fireworks, and burning effigies of Judas.

If you're talking to a child during the Easter holiday, you could have a little fun by asking "Pistévete stin lagoudáki tou Páscha," which translates to "Do you believe in the Easter Bunny?"

Common Greek Phrases: Holidays and Year-Round

While there are many popular Greek phrases you'll only hear during special holiday seasons, there are even more that are said year-round.

No matter when you visit Greece, many Greek speakers appreciate being greeted with "Kalimera"  ("good morning") in the morning or a friendly "yasou" ("hello") any time of day. However, if you're addressing a person older than you or in a position of authority, it's better to say the formal "yassas" instead of "yasou."

During the 40 days of Lent that precede Easter, you may also hear "Kali Sarakosti" wishing you a good Lent. This literally means "Happy forty," which refers to the 40 days over which Greek Christians observe the holiday of fasting.

Planning Your Greek Easter Vacation

When starting to plan out your travel itinerary for a vacation to Greece during Easter, keep in mind the country celebrates two separate holidays, western Easter and the Greek Orthodox Easter.

The Greek Orthodox calendar is different than the Gregorian calendar, which is most commonly used in Western countries and the United States; as a result, Greek Easter may fall on a different day than Easter in the United States, like in 2018 where Greek Easter is April 8 and Easter is April 1.

You can expect prices on flights and accommodations to be a bit more expensive during these spring holidays, but other dates in March and April are considered part of the shoulder season, which means you can get some great deals on travel. Iyou can spend a few weeks (or longer) in Greece, it may be a good idea to book your flight for cheaper dates before the holiday, enjoy a few short trips around Greece, and then stay for the Easter celebrations.