Five Celebrities Who Celebrate Greek Easter!

Learn more about Greek Orthodox traditions from these celebrities’ celebrations of Pascha!

Easter was last week for the followers of Western Christianity, but a similar, yet unique celebration, happens later. Orthodox Easter takes place this year on April 24th. We’re focusing today on Greek Orthodox’s celebration of Easter, traditionally called “Pascha”, which carries many intricate and beautiful practices–from dyeing eggs red and baking sweet cookies called koulourakia.

While the Greek Orthodox Church in the U.S. has a smaller population than other denominations of Christianity (primarily Catholicism and Christianity), some Greek celebrities have used their platforms to shine a light on their cultural traditions and how they celebrate Pascha. Read on for more on how some of your favorite celebrities are celebrating this year.

Rita Wilson

The actress, singer-songwriter and producer grew up celebrating Pascha her whole life. In 2008, she penned a guest blog post for Huffpost titled “The Joys of Greek Easter.” In her ode to some of her favorite childhood traditions, she explains the candle lighting portion of mass, which she shared in an Instagram post of last year: “The priest takes one candle and lights his one candle from the one remaining lit altar candle which represents the light of Christ’s love (I believe). From this one candle, the priest approaches the congregation and using his one candle he shares his light with a few people in the front pews. They in turn share their light with the people next to them and behind them. In quiet solemnity, we wait until the entire church is lit with only the light of candles; the light that has been created by one small flame has now created a room of shared light.” One big difference between Western Christianity and Greek Orthodoxy is the focus on not only the resurrection of Jesus, but on spiritual and physical rejuvenation for anyone who celebrates.


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John Stamos

The iconic actor and musician that many remember as Uncle Jesse from Full House was also raised with many Greek traditions. In a celebration with Michael Chiklis and Maria Menounos back in 2017, Stamos shared a humorous video taking part in the red egg tradition, only clashing his egg with Chiklis’ head. The red color of the eggs is meant to symbolize the blood and sacrifice of Jesus, and the very first egg dyed is saved until the next year to protect the home from the evil eye, which is believed to be a curse of misfortune brought on by a jealous or malicious glare. But the tradition associated with them takes a positive spin–the eggs are used to play the game of tsougrisma, which means “clashing”. The two players clash the eggs together until one cracks on both ends, and the winner is believed to have good luck for the year to come.


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Nia Vardalos

The actress, screenwriter, and director behind the iconic rom-com My Big Fat Greek Wedding (and many other films) is known for her Pascha bash. Her former on-screen husband, actor John Corbett, told People in 2016 that Vardalos goes all out for the holiday, with a huge egg hunt and egg clashing game: Nothing is off-limits. You can go through the house, look through drawers, the yard. I think she knows I’m going to snoop, so she tidies up ahead of time.” The pair remain close friends and frequently celebrate the holiday with each others’ families.

Jennifer Aniston

The actress, producer, and Friends alum is half Greek on her father’s side, and fans rediscovered a literal Easter egg in the show that paid homage to her heritage in 2020. In “The One with Monica and Chandler’s Wedding: Part 2”, Aniston’s character is left to hunt down an officiant at the last minute, and stumbles upon the Anastasakis wedding–unbeknownst to viewers at the time, this is her father’s real last name. Aniston frequently mentions her Greek roots and traditional dishes she grew up with in interviews.

Maria Menounos

Afterbuzz TV and Better Together’s own Maria Menounos also proudly celebrates Pascha every year. Menounos’ parents emigrated to the Boston area from Greece, and she grew up in the Greek Orthodox Church. Like most, she grew up with tsougrisma and koulourakia and a candle-lit mass. Her mother Litsa sadly passed away last year on the Greek holiday, but Maria keeps her many beloved traditions alive.


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Stay tuned for more on this beautiful holiday from some of your favorite Greek celebrities this weekend, and kaló Páscha to all!