During Easter time in Greece, travelers are likely to hear typical phrases used in greetings.
On Easter itself, "Christos Anesti" or "Christ is risen" will be on many Greek people's lips. The proper response: "Alithos anesti." This means, "Truly, he has risen," which is akin to, "He is risen indeed."
It may be startling if you hear cheers of "Christos Anesti" at midnight, along with the booming sounds of fireworks, but many Greek towns celebrate the resurrection that way, along with burning an effigy of Judas.
Ask where the best fireworks are in your locality; they will happen the Saturday evening before Easter. Generally, the sacred flame will be distributed candle to candle and this can be very beautiful to watch, as a single flame held by the priest is multiplied candle to candle in a wave of light.
Visitors may also hear "Kalo Pashcha" or "Happy (beautiful) Easter (to you)."
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," referring to the 40 days.
Another fun Greek phrase to learn is how to say, "Do you believe in the Easter bunny?" In Greek, that translates to, "Pistévete stin lagoudáki tou Páscha."
Write Happy Easter in Greek
Wishing someone a Kalo Pashcha in person is one thing. If you need to write it in Greek, it looks like this: καλό Πάσχα
When is Easter in Greece?
The Greek Orthodox calendar is different than the Gregorian calendar, which is most commonly used in Western countries and the United States.
Easter may fall on a different day in Greece than in the United States.
Other Common Greek Greetings
As always, any time of year, many Greek speakers appreciate saying a happy "Kalimera" or "Good morning," as well as a "Yasou," which is the Greek equivalent to "Hello." The more formal and respectful version of Yasou is Yassas.
It's not expected from tourists but should be used to address people older than you are or those who are in positions of authority.
Plan Your Trip to Greece
Here are some links and articles to help you plan your vacation to Greece.
- Find and compare flights to and from Greece here: Athens and Other Greece Flights. The Greek airport code for Athens International Airport is ATH.
- Find and compare prices on hotels in Greece and the Greek Islands.
- Book your own short trips around Greece and the Greek Islands.