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Good Friday Epitaphios: Pieces of art with 100,000 pearls

Good Friday is the day of mourning for Orthodox Christians as the Passion Week reaches its peak. Highlight of the day is the Epitaphios procession with the icon of the body of Jesus inside.

Typically the icon is a large, embroidered and rich adorned cloth. It is placed inside the Epitaphios canopy which is carved and rich decorated with flowers women of the local parish decorate on Friday morning.

However, in recent years, in some areas, they use pearls instead or in addition to the flowers.

In Ouranoupolis, Halkidiki, the Epitaphios decoration lasts one month. Pearl by pearl the village women construct a piece of art. This year they used 70,000 pearls and 20,000 miniature chrysanthemums.

They use colors of the Byzantine empire and drawing patterns taken from books of the Monks Republic, Mount Athos.


This tradition of the unigue Epitaphios has been going on for sixteen consecutive year.

In Larissa, Central Greece, the Epitaphios of the Analipsi of Sotiras Church, the women beat all time records by using more than 100,000 pearls and a rich flowers decoration.

In the Church of Agios Panteleimon in Fodele on the island of Crete, they used more than 110,000 pearls for the Epitaphios that took two months to complete.

On the island of Paros, the EPitaphios of famous Panagia Ekatontapyliani was rather simple. simple.

On some parishes on the island of Crete, the people prefer to lay money instead of flowers to the Epitaphios, money that cna be used by the Church for charity.

In most areas, the impressive Epitaphios procession begins at 9 o’ clock at night. On the island of Corfu though the procession of more than 35 Epitaphios begins already after 12 o’ clock noon. Highlight of the day is the procession of the Epitaphios of the Metropolis start starts at 9:00 p.m.

The modest procession of Agios Artemios Church

sources: halkidikinews.gr, larissanet.gr, ekriti.gr, corfunews.gr

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