Experience Easter in Greece
If you want to experience the Greek Easter in Athens, you can go to any church you happen to be near, but bear in mind that in some churches the Vigil takes a special form. The Metochion of Panagios Taphos in Plaka (Monastery of the Holy Sepulchre, 18 Erechtheos St.) is the church which first receives the Holy Light from Jerusalem. Athenians welcome the Holy Light at the Athens Airport at about 8 pm on Holy Saturday. Then it is passed on to the representatives of every metropolitan bishop of the country, which then fly back to their respective cities carrying the Holy Light with them. The atmosphere is full of magic: the scents from the sacred rock of Acropolis, the cool breeze of the night and the absolute silence as the congregation awaits the Holy Light. Another idea you may want to consider is going to the Chapel of Aghios Georgios in Lycabettus Hill.
The Paschal Vigil starts at 11 pm and at midnight the lights of the church go out. This small church is situated in one of the most spectacular sites in Athens, but on the night of Holy Saturday, as one listens to the people chanting in unison while holding candles and hears the cannons firing in the distance in honour of Jesus raised from the dead and all the congregation chants in unison, it is truly unique. Another idea is to participate in the Paschal Vigil at the Russian Church (in Philellinon Street) where the congregation gathers, each person carrying their festive baskets filled with buns, red-dyed eggs and chocolates so that the priest will bless them before they carry them back home. Here you will not find traditional chanters, but a women's choir. At exactly midnight the Christos Anesti is chanted 100 times and the service continues until 4 in the morning.