The Cultural Association of Argyroupoli, the Parish of Argyroupoli Rethymno in collaboration with the Cretan Gastronomy Center, the Municipality of Rethymno and Travel Massive – Chapter Crete organize a significant event in April to promote cultural tourism on Crete: Traditions as a tool for the economic development of rural areas.
Easter on the Aegean Island of Crete is a unique experience. A continent and a world apart, the land of the ancient Minoans has always been a spiritual place where tradition, wonder, natural beauty, and culture intertwine in perfect harmony. This April, Crete Travel Massive and the greater community are inviting travel writers and influential bloggers to share an unbelievable experience with the rest of the world.
On April 5th and 6th influential storytellers from all over the world are invited to be our guests and to take part in the festivities at Argyroupoli, and unbelievable place on planet Earth. Built atop the ancient of Lappa, which was probably founded by the legendary Agamemnon, the village Argyroupoli has been a magnetic place throughout human history. Today, visitors will find a small town erected into a natural amphitheater of extraordinary natural beauty just southwest of the port of Rethymnon. This year’s Easter festivities will play out in a place where holy waters have healed generations, where the Romans and Venetians laid down their influence, and where Byzantine churches mark time. Organized and sponsored by: the Cultural Association of Argyroupoli, the Parish of Argyroupoli Rethymno in collaboration with the Cretan Gastronomy Center, the Municipality of Rethymno, Travel Massive – Chapter Crete, Arcus Suites and Crete Urban Adventures, with support from Pamil Visions and media partner Argophilia Travel News, the events this season will be a magical “cultural” experience on Greece’s largest island.
Join us for two days in Argyroupoli 27 kilometers southwest of the town of Rethymno. Come and experience our unique Easter traditions and this magnificent rural community. Here are some highlights of the coming celebration.
The Candles of Good Friday
This custom that began several years ago when the village of Argyroupoli did not have electricity and municipal lighting. The locals to honor the dead Jesus, but also to enlighten the path followed by the shepherd’s litany created “candles” (torches of reeds & starvils) which they lit and carried on their shoulders.
Each “firebrand” can reach up to 6 meters in length and is held by 3 or more people. The construction of the “candles” is done by young locals several days before Good Friday by gathering reeds and starvils from the village and the surrounding area. The “candles” are prepared early in the afternoon of Good Friday in St. John’s Square and just before the litany begins. The epitaph lights up and heads the litany creating an atmosphere which travels, those who attend, back in time.
Fasting on Good Friday
The word fasting in Greek (νηστεία) has the same meaning as in English. Fast, from the old Anglo-Saxon word meaning to abstain (steadfast, meaning “firm in fasting” is derived from the same word), is to deliberately go without food. Great Lent officially begins on Clean Monday, seven weeks before Pascha (Ash Wednesday is not observed in Eastern Christianity) and runs for 40 continuous days, concluding with the Presanctified Liturgy on Friday of the Sixth Week. The next day is called Lazarus Saturday, the day before Palm Sunday. Fasting continues throughout the following week, known as Passion Week or Holy Week, and does not end until after the Pasha Day (Easter Sunday).
Indeed, the low consumption of foods of animal origin that characterizes the Cretan Diet, is largely due to the fact that the Cretans followed the fasting of the Greek Orthodox Church.
But like most practices rooted in Christianity, the way people observe Lent, or whether they observe it at all, varies wildly depending on their heritage, specific religious tradition, and preferences. And, increasingly, even non-religious people are picking up the ritual for many personal or health reasons.
For one more year, the Cultural Association of Argyroupoli, the Parish of Argyroupoli, Rethymno in collaboration with the Cretan Gastronomy Center, the Municipality of Rethymno and Travel Massive – Chapter Crete will offer, after the completion of the procession of the Epitaph and the mass of Good Friday (around 22:30 PM), delicious traditional feasting Cretan dishes, prepared by the village women under the guidance of professional Chefs and the Cretan Center of Gastronomy.
When: Thursday 5th and Friday 6th of April (Greek Holy Easter Week)
What do we offer: All expenses upon arriving at our home place (Crete) are covered by us and sponsors. (Accommodation, transfers, meals). Note: Selected writers/bloggers will be able to extend their stays enjoying a 50% discount on accommodations – please inquire.
Where: You will explore the village of Argyroupoli in Rethymno Crete and the region. Please contact us by email for more info and clarifications: firstname.lastname@example.org – Also, to request a spot please contact email@example.com