Easter Greek language course, island Ikaria

April 15-25/2019

Start or improve your skills in Greek language in an intensive Greek language course with activities during Easter holiday, on the island of Ikaria. At the same time discover the traditions of the Greek Easter.

The weather in April is still unstable although days around Easter are traditionally sunny and warm. Some visits to Evdilos, the nearby Karavostamo and Arethousa for shopping, a tsipouro or dinner are organized according to the mood of the group. After the lessons students who wish can have lunch together with the teachers. Course activities also include visits to local families, where students can and participate in the daily activities of the family (gardening, cooking, feeding the animals etc). Students will also learn about Greek Easter traditions, while participating in them.

Usually the dates of the lessons are defined by the Catholic and not the Greek (Orthodox) Easter. However, many times Catholic and Orthodox Easter is only one week away, so students do have the opportunity to participate in the customs of the Greek Easter. Those who can stay until the Orthodox Easter Sunday and celebrate the Greek Easter with their teachers, are welcome to do so. No extra fee is charged for this. The Orthodox Easter of 2019 is on Sunday, April 28th.

Ikaria in Easter

Ikaria is a small island located in the eastern Aegean where rural traditions are still very much alive. Easter, a springtime celebration,  is celebrated by local communities with great festive spirit. Preparation for Easter Sunday starts in the houses of the community, where various sweets are made and boiled eggs are painted red.

During Holy Week, the atmosphere is somewhat solemn, as most local people fast and attend the various religious services held in churches all over the island. Generally, there is a great emotional build-up during Easter Saturday, when celebrations start in the evening. After the religious ceremony and a local fireworks display, people return to their homes where families and friends eat and drink together. On both Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday in the village of Karavostamo one can witness the “burning of Afano”, a custom that dates back to Byzantine times.