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Greek Orthodox Easter (Pascha) April 8, 2018

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Feast Day: April 8, 2018

Midnight Services

Preceded by Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Good Friday, Greek Orthodox Easter Sunday (Pascha / Πάσχα) celebrates Jesus rising from the dead and marks the end of Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. Most Greek Orthodox churches has midnight services and some have Easter picnics. Candles are lit during service and many take the flame home with them. The fast is broken with Easter bread (Tsoureki / Τσουρέκι) and lamb soup (magiritsa / μαγειρίτσα) soon after services end.

Red Easter Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs, dyed red in memory of the blood of Jesus, are also eaten Easter Sunday. Before the availability of commercial dyes, villagers made their own dyes from beet juice or the skins of red onions. Eggs are used to play the tapping game, where one person uses the tip of their egg to attempt to strategically break the other person's egg.

Why is Greek (Eastern) Orthodox Easter celebrated on a different day than Western Easter?

Occasional Greek Orthodox Easter coincides with Western Easter, however, it is calculated using different criteria so most years it lands on a different day.

Easter varies between March 22 and April 25 and the criteria for calculating Greek Easter includes:

  • using the Julian calendar not the Gregorian calendar
  • waiting until after the Jewish holiday of Passover
  • waiting for the first Sunday after the first full moon after the northern hemisphere's vernal equinox - assumed March 21st.

Read more about why Orthodox Easter is later than Catholic Easter on the Greek Reporter.

When is Greek (Eastern) Orthodox Easter Sunday 2018?

  • 2018 - Sunday, April 8
  • 2019 - Sunday, April 28
  • 2020 - Sunday, April 19
  • 2021 - Sunday, May 2
  • 2022 - Sunday, April 24
  • 2023 - Sunday, April 16
  • 2024 - Sunday, May 5*
  • 2025 - Sunday, April 20*

*same as Catholic / Protestant


Greek Orthodox Books

Greek Orthodox Crosses

Greek Orthodox Feast Days