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Easter at the island Corfu


Easter is one of the most celebrated events in Greece and where better to join in the festivities than the island of Corfu renowned for its unique Greek Orthodox Easter traditions that will be taking place during The Holy Week on 2-8 April 2018.

Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations throughout the country include candlelit street processions, midnight fireworks and spit-roasted lamb. Easter celebrations in Corfu, however, are unlike any other in Greece. At this beautiful Ionian island visitors can enjoy unique religious customs and centuries-old traditions with an entire week of festivities that culminate on Maundy Tuesday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.

On Wednesday before Easter at 8.30 pm Corfiots head to the Municipal Theatre to hear the Municipal Chorus singing ecclesiastical hymns of the Passion Week. On Maundy Thursday the traditional red Easter eggs – an eternal symbol of the renewal of life and nature – are dyed and in the evening people attend the Service of the Holy Passion. In the Catholic Cathedral of Duomo 12 candles are lit and put out one at a time after reading each of the 12 Gospels. Women then spend the night at their local church decorating the bier of Christ with freshly picked flowers so that it will be ready for the funeral procession of the next day.

On Good Friday church bells ring all day in a slow mournful tone and at 9 pm people take to the streets holding candles and following the symbolic funerary procession of Christ called “Epitaphios” that is not to be missed by island visitors. Several different Epitaphs are carried through the streets of Corfu’s old town and they all gather at Corfu’s historic centre creating a mystical atmosphere of devoutness and reverence as each church’s Epitaph is accompanied by its own band and chorus singing psalms and hymns and playing sad, funeral marches, including classic works of Albioni, Verdi and Chopin.

At 9 am on Holy Saturday the procession of the remains of Saint Spyridon – Corfu’s patron saint – takes place. The procession was established in 1550, when the saint saved the island from famine, and it is accompanied by Corfu’s famous Philharmonic Bands. Later on the same day, Corfu town residents celebrate the First Resurrection – announced at 11 am – with the spectacular annual “Pot Throwing” custom, dropping ceramic pots filled with water off their windows and balconies at Spianada Square and smashing them onto the street. At night the Catholic Mass of the Resurrection takes place at Duomo followed by the Orthodox Resurrection Service at “Pano Platia” (Upper Square). The Resurrection of Christ is celebrated at 12 pm sharp with drumbeats, fireworks, thousands of lit candles by the congregation and the joyful sounds of Corfu’s Philharmonic bands.

On Easter Sunday Corfu’s churches parade the resurrection icon around Corfu town. The resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday marks the end of the 40-day fasting period and the day is celebrated with the festive Easter Sunday meal featuring a traditional egg-lemon soup made of 2-3 different kinds of meat – as opposed to rest of Greece where people prepare the traditional spit roasted lamb. Moreover, same as every year, from 11.30 am onwards the Naval Station at Corfu’s New Fortress is open to the public featuring traditional Greek music and folk dancing as well as lots of Easter menu treats.

Finally, Easter Monday is a public holiday and a day to reflect and rejoice.

2018 Greek Orthodox Easter Dates
• Thursday (or Maundy Thursday) – April 5th, 2018
• Great Friday (or Good Friday) – April 6th, 2018
• Great Saturday (or Holy Saturday) – April 7th, 2018
• Easter Sunday – April 8th, 2018
• Easter Monday – April 9th, 2018

For more information about Easter at Corfu please see here: http://www.corfu.gr/web/guest/ethima/pasha

Photo © Corfu Municipality/Region of Ionian Islands

 

Easter at the island Corfu

02/04/2018 - 09/04/2018
Location: IONIAN ISLANDSCORFU (KERKYRA)KerkiraKerkira

Hours - Comments
Dates: 2-9 April 2018¦ Location: Corfu, Ionian Islands ¦ Venues: Various locations at Corfu town¦ Times: For the detailed Easter events programme please see the official website of Corfu Municipality ¦More info: http://www.corfu.gr/web/guest/ethima/pasha


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