Pentecost in Greece happens fifty days after Greek Easter. While in some Christian denominations this religious holiday slides by with relatively little fanfare, in Orthodox Greece Pentecost is vigorously celebrated. For the more secularly-minded traveler in Greece, it can even be thought of as a kind of "second Easter" if you've unfortunately missed the first.
It occurs on the seventh Sunday after Easter, or the "Fiftieth Day", and commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit.
Pentecost is also known as Trinity Sunday. It is considered a "Great Feast" and it is celebrated with great attention.
By the way, the "Pente" in Pentecost is an easy way to help remember the number "five" in Greek if you can associate it with the "50 days".
Like other religious holidays in Greece, such as Easter itself and the Feast of the Virgin Mary on August 15th, transit schedules may shift and extra ferries or ferry stops may be added to accommodate Pentecost travelers. I remember traveling to Milos on a Pentecost weekend, when Minoan Lines snuck in an extra stop at the island on the route from Heraklion to Athens. Unfortunately, not all the Minoan employees knew that there was an extra stop that night, and they looked at me very strangely as I insisted that their ferry would indeed be stopping at "my" island. Ticketing was complicated as it could only be actually booked through an outside travel agent who had arranged a special group tour and had enough paying passengers to make the stop warranted.
I managed to get my friends and I "adopted" by the group at least for the transit portion to the island.
As with most religious holidays in Greece, the eve of the feast on the "Saturday before Pentecost" will be when the more public celebration will occur, so plan accordingly. And like most festivals, special foods are involved and will be available.
In fact, the week after Pentecost forbids fasting, even on the usual fasting days of Wednesday and Friday.
All Greek Orthodox churches in Greece will observe Pentecost, but usually a few of the larger ones in a given area will have the richest festivals.
Pentecost in Greece Dates
2016 - Sunday, June 19th
2017 - Sunday, June 4th
2018 - Sunday, May 27th
2019 - Sunday, June 16th
2020 - Sunday, June 7th
2021 - Sunday, June 20th
2022 - Sunday, June 12th
2023 - Sunday, June 4th
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