Traditions are part of the Zakynthian way of life; they have been passed down from generation to generation and are still today kept alive. Nearly every religious celebration is tied into tradition and Zakynthians take their traditions seriously.
At most religious ceremonies you will be able to take photographs, it is not forbidden but you must always take into account ‘respect’ especially during church services.
Your attire at Church services must be at least smart casual, shorts and t-shirts won’t be accepted. If you are visiting a church that is not having a service then your attire is not so strict, however, you will be required to cover up. Don’t be alarmed if you are called over and given a wrap, it may be that they consider you to be under dressed. Generally speaking, beach attire should be kept at the beach, don’t forget that Zakynthians are not on holiday and will be dressed accordingly to a normal business day.
During celebrations Zakynthian traditions will also govern cuisine. During certain times of the year and dependent on the celebration, a particular dish will be served within the homes of locals, for example on Christmas day the tradition of Zakynthian egg and lemon soup is served and the tradition of the Christmas bread, a story within itself, the recipe handed down over generations – all these and many more which our Blog will explain throughout the year – just makes Zakynthos, not only of interest, but as you get to discover her more, you just can’t help but fall in love, you will soon find yourself calling her your home.
Religion and Values
Zakynthos is an Island with strong religious ties and Orthodox values. The relationship Zakynthians have with their faith is connected to their every day way of life, and their traditions have been carried on for centuries, unharmed by time.
Throughout the year Zakynthians celebrate many Christian festivals, but Easter would be the highlight of these festivals. A ritual, compared to none other, is held every Easter. From the Friday until the early hours of Easter Saturday almost every Zakynthian takes part, not to mention Easter Sunday, where the festivities are taken home, and the Zakynthian hospitality would only have their guests join in.
There are many religious festivals throughout the year. As well as the expected celebrations for Christmas and Easter, the island celebrates many religious events throughout the year, whether it’s the main religious points of the year, or the celebration of a Saint.
In May the festival of Santa Mavra takes place in Macherado, in July the festival of Agia Parskevi takes place in Anafonitria and the Patron Saint of Zakynthos, St Dennis is celebrated both in August and December. These festivals are so important to islanders that they are often a Bank Holiday and most islanders will join in the celebrations.