a VirtualTourist member from Orlando
We will be in athens on Orthodox Good Friday. Will museums be open as usual? Will the metro be running from Piraeus to Athens on a regular schedule? Is there festivities going on b/b it is Good Friday? Thanks
the subway/metro/tram and the buses will run with the sunday schedule, you will easily move around but maybe you have to wait a bit longer at the stop.
most museums will be open, for example National Archeological Museum will be closed only on Easter Sunday, I guess the same will be for Acropolis museum (which is closed every monday)
Good Friday is a day of mourning but you will hardly notice it in Athens. Normally the people go to church in the morning (where bells ring all day in a slow mournful tone) where they decorate the epitaphio(the bier of Christ) which later in the evening will be carried on the shoulders of the believers usually a short or long trail around the church of the community towards the cemetery while the rest of the people carring dark candles (on holy saturday they carry white ones). (this is much more interesting to see it in other cities, even in touristic places like Mykonos is a must see with local women sing all together)
Thank you for the insight. As it turns out, we will be in Mykonos on holy saturday- I wonder how I would find out where and when we could see the white candle event. Thanks
the one in Holy Friday is more impressive because they carry around the Epitaphios, even in Athens you will see this. its a pity you wont be in Mykonos that day.
the interesting thing in Mykonos is that there are many churches in small distance so they walk from one to the other so you can just follow them and see numerous epitaphios parades cross each other.
on Holy Saturday the eternal flame comes from Jerusalem and the priest all over greece carry it in every church. There are religious ceremonies/masses through out the day but most people go 1-2 hours before the Midnight Mass of the Resurrection when everyone holds a white candle. When the priest announces the resurrection everyone will light the candle from him (or from someone that is already took it from him), while fireworks will fill the sky you will see the greeks kissing each other with greetings etc (boys take advantage of this traditionally, hey girl will you light my candle? etc etc :)
Greeks use to bring the candle back home and some people do a cross sign with the candle over their main door. Then we all go to eat the special dinner of the day. For the visitors every restaurant will have special menu that day, you can ask about it earlier in the day.
It's imposible to miss it in the Old Town of Mykonos, everyone will be there I guess :)
Here are generic info on Greek Easter traditions if you are not familiar at all with it: explorecrete.com/traditions/...
Although in general I do not like reffering here on other travelers' forums, you may want to check TripAdvisor, in particular Athens subf-orum, using search box to find old threads related to Easter. There are some regular members who are living pernamently in Athens and offer great advice. You may want to have a look on those threads for example:
Note some may reffer on previous years, so do not count on the dates, but pricedures and timetables more or less remain as previous years. A friend of mine living in Athens use to attend mass and Epitaphios procedure only on small church of Kapnikarea on Monastiraki area. It is a tiny church and most people have actually to stand outside, but ambiance is very emotional as this church operates only a few times per year and there is a mix of Athenians, other Greeks and some international visitors attending... No first hand info on that one, but might be an option. I strongly suggest trying to take part in local festivities... About metro and museum timetables, you may want to keep checking here for updates: odysseus.culture.gr/h/1/eh10... (Official Greek Ministry of Culture site with info and timetables on sites and museums) oasa.gr/?id=ind3ex&lang=...">oasa.gr/?id=ind3ex&lang=... (Official site of urban Athens transport organisation) ametro.gr/page/default.asp?l...">ametro.gr/page/default.asp?l... (Athens metro company) Have a nice trip!!!