Hot-Air Balloons: A Unique Greek Easter Spectacle (video)

Sunday, April 16th, 2017
Last Update: 21:42
Photo credit: G. Zaxarakis

A spectacular tradition that Greeks have adopted for Easter is sending glowing hot-air balloons into the night sky in celebration of Easter celebrating “Christos Anesti” (Christ Resurrected).

This tradition runs strong in both Agios, Loutra Edipsou and Leonidio, Arcadia, where the hot-air balloons are prepared weeks before the “great” night, and almost every household builds its own.

The technique to make the hot-air balloons is specific and an old tradition where reed and paper are used in various sizes, without however exceeding two meters. Big balloons require 32 to 36 papers, whereas the smaller ones need 8 to 16 or 18 papers. A cloth drenched in oil and petrol is used in order to “send” the balloons flying into the sky.

A Spectacular Sight in Easter Sunday in Agios, Loutra Edipsou

The flight of more glowing hot-air balloons on Easter Sunday in Agios, Loutra Edipsou is a beautiful sight to see and this year more than 500 people sent their balloon creations high into the sky. The event always takes place on Easter Sunday at around 7:30 pm in Agios’ central square where people of all ages gather to celebrate the rising of Christ.

“Night of the Hot-air Balloons”  in Leonidio, ArcadiaAnother place in Greece in Leonidio, Arcadia, a yearly tradition takes place that started in the late 19th century during the Resurrection night called the “Night of the hot-air balloons.” This tradition dates back to local sailors who, as they traveled across the globe, were fascinated by how the Asians had the tradition of sending these small hot-air balloons into the skies in celebration. When the sailors returned, they started the same tradition which they saw the Asians practicing, and with time, the tradition of the “Night of the hot-air balloons” was established and compounded with the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus on Saturday evening.

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