The Greeks first day of celebration is the sunday before Easter. Palm Sunday, it marks the begininng of holy week for Orthodox Christians. Today, there are many marching bands roaming the city starting at 11:00am. There is a march through the town, where people carry palm fronds and olive branches to commemorate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. The largest Litany also takes place today where the Pappas carry Saint Spyridon through the city. This was first taken place in 1629 when he saved the Corfiot people from the plague.
The last Monday before Easter is when the locals start preparing for the easter events. Such as buying food, cutting the grass, painting everything outside white. Then later on there is the evening mass.
Services of the Bridgegroom is tonight. There is also a poetry/music night at the museum of Saint Michael and George.
Today the Purple light turn on as a sign of grief.
Today is reserved for painting the eggs red! Why? You’ll find out soon!
One of the highlights of the Big Week is the Good Friday procession, which takes place in the evening. The March is led by the Philharmonic bands, who play somber music as the priests carry the Epitaphios, a decorated bier that represents the tomb of Christ. The procession winds through the streets of Corfu, with people following behind carrying candles, creating a moving and emotional atmosphere.
One of the most distinctive aspects of Corfu’s Easter celebrations is the “Pot Throwing” tradition, which takes place on the morning of Holy Saturday. At 11 am, the residents of Corfu throw pots out of their windows, balconies, and doors, smashing them on the streets below. This tradition symbolizes the renewal of spring and the breaking of the old and outdated. It is also said that this is done to symbolize the earthquake of the ressurrection by creating a lot of noise.
Later that night, at 23:00 we go to mass. At around 11:45 everyone takes a candle, lites it and with the Pappa we take a walk around the village. We arrive to the square of the village and when the clock hits 24:00, we let off fireworks and shoot shotguns in celebration! It is followed by a tradional meal “tsilichourda”, which is a meat soup. After that, the younger adults will usually go out for a drink until 6:00am. (this is a newer tradition, obviously)
Overall, the Big Week in Corfu is a special and unique experience, blending ancient customs with modern traditions to create a truly unforgettable celebration of Easter.
As you can already tell, Easter is the most celebrated holiday in Corfu. People from all over Greece come to Corfu to join in on the celebrations.
Today, we roast the lamb, like many of you know. However, we don’t just roast the lamb, we roast the lamb in company with family. Today, the red eggs are finally used. So, each person takes an egg and hits it against the other persons egg. The person that has the uncracked egg wins! Don’t worry though, turn the egg upside down and play again!
We also roast a “kokoretsi” which is the intestines of the goat or lamb. Would you eat some?
Overall, Corfu’s Easter celebration is a unique and unforgettable experience, blending ancient customs with modern traditions to create a truly special and meaningful event.