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Arcadia, Leonidio, Easter with Hot-Air Balloons

EVENT INFO

Start Date: 14 April 2023
End Date: 16 April 2023

EVENT INFO

Start Date: 14 April 2023
End Date: 16 April 2023

Leonidio in Arcardia has revived a unique and splendid custom of Greece. At Leonidio, as throughout the Orthodox world, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends roughly six weeks later on Easter Sunday. During this period, as nightly liturgical services end, groups of children from each parish take up a collection to fund hot-air balloons. The children try to raise as much money as possible in order to purchase materials to make the hot air balloons, in hopes that the hot-air balloons of their parish will be judged to be the best. The construction of these hot-air balloons starts weeks before the event.

children lighting a Hot-Air Balloons at Easter at Arkadia, Greece by night

The event takes place at Leonidio on the night of the Resurrection. As the priests start chanting Christos Anesti (‘Christ is Risen’), the hot-air balloons are fired up and released into the sky, where they float around for about 30 to 40 minutes. Typically, around 100 to 120 hot air balloons crowd the skies each year. The municipality organizes an Easter barbecue in the garden of the city hall every year on Easter Sunday. Visitors can enjoy an abundance of traditional Easter delicacies, such as grilled lamb, kokoretsi, red-dyed eggs, good wine, and meze. A group of dancers dressed in customary local clothing, dance to traditional Greek music performed live by local musicians. Local homemakers distribute home-made diples as the celebration continues for hours.

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