Easter at Leonidio


In antiquity in selected positions on the top of the mountains there were the “fryktories”, which was a system of message transmission at a long distance by using lighted torches.

The tradition says that in this way came the news to Mycenae for the fall of Troy. In the echo of this ancient telecommunication practice the evening of the Resurrection, the residents of Leonidio lit up hundreds of multi coloured large balloons, which leave them to fly on the sky, the moment where the priests chant “Christ is risen”.

Each house from the five parishes of Leonidio, long ago prepares its own “fire”. Their construction may require a special technique which uses cane and paper. The balloons can reach a height up to 2 meters.

In order to spark them off, they use a piece of cloth soaked in oil and petroleum. It is estimated that in each parish there are around 100 balloons.

It is impressive the evening of Good Friday, where all the parishes of Leonidio are met in the square of the village and compete for the most beautiful Epitaph.

The only thing that is certain is that the night of Resurrection is unique.

The Easter in Leonidio is so impressive that Dimitris Psathas once wrote: “Carnival in Patras and Easter only in Leonidio”.