The festivals in Corfu are one of a kind. There is no better way to get a glimpse of the Greek/Corfiot way of life than attending one of these festivals in Corfu.
The festivals in Corfu are very unique. It is a celebration. All summer long they are all over Corfu. Many people, mostly Greeks, will gather in an open land usually under olive trees. There are plastic tables and chairs everywhere and loud traditional Greek music playing. We eat, drink, dance and have a good time.
Why do we have these festivals?
Every village has at least one church and these churches are named after Saints. As you may know, name days in Greece are very important still to this day. We consider our name day more important than our birthday. On the name days of these Saints, the people of the village will have a festival in their village to celebrate. For example, in my village, the church is named after Saint Marina. July 17th is Saint Marina’s name day so on July 17th we have a festival to celebrate. All the people of the village and many from the villages around will come. Some people even from far away to join in the celebration.
Fun Fact: They say that the festival in Marmaro for Saint Marina is one of the oldest in Corfu.
What’s to eat and drink?
During these festivals, we like to eat meat! For centuries eating meat has been linked to celebrating. Whether it is on Easter when we roast a lamb or during these festivals.
There is always souvlaki available, chicken and pork. Souvlaki at one of these festivals is always a lot better than the restaurant ones, I don’t know why!
Sometimes there will also be lamb roasting that you can buy.
To drink it is normally water, soda, beer, and retsina. Retsina is a popular type of cheap wine. I like Malamatina.
Game: what do you think the logo is of on the Malamatina bottle?
The dancing that goes on at these festivals is not your typical dancing style. It is pure greek. There are many different ones, but all of them include holding hands or wrapping your arms around the one next to you and going around in a circle.
There is also freestyle. There are no specific steps to take but you do your own thing while others are clapping to the beat on their knees around you.
Here is how we do it! Youtube
For more information about events and festivals, you can check out this blog. However, it is not from this year so you might have to double-check that the festival is happening this year.
July 17th is Saint Marina. Festival in Marmaro Corfu!