Just a couple days left until the amazing Easter events begin in Corfu. It’s a busy time on the island; the summer season is about the begin so everyone has come out of hibernation to prepare. Local businesses, restaurants, cafes; gearing up to accept several locals and tourists. Have a look at a brief outline of the events to come!
• On Good Monday the locals go shopping in order to prepare for the upcoming celebrations. The air is filled with the delectable scent of “fogasta” being baked in homes and bakeries. The “fogatsa” is what most of Greece refer to as “tsoureki” which is a brioche type bread, usually decorated with a red dyed egg.
• On Good Tuesday you can hear the story of Mary Magdalene hymned at the city churches. At approximately 9.00 p.m., you can participate in the Music and Poetry Night at the Peristyle of the Old Palace.
• On Good Wednesday the locals attend the Holy Unction at noon and then at 8.30 pm. they gather at the Municipal Theater to hear the hymns of the Passion Week by the Municipal Chorus.
• On Good Thursday the churches perform The Service of the Holy Passion. In Duomo, the Catholic Diocese of City Hall Square, 12 candles are lit and then extinguished one at a time at the end of each gospel. This is also the day when the bells sound to initiate the tradition of dying eggs red which symbolizes the rebirth of life and nature.
• On Good Friday the churches fill up with worshipers for the ceremony of the Descent of the Lord and the procession just before noon. After that, children scatter though the neighborhoods to ask for flowers for the Epitaph. Early in the afternoon the procession of the Epitaph begins throughout the picturesque streets and squares of the city. From 2 pm until late at night, dozens of Epitaphs come out chanting “Ay geneai Pasha” with growing crowds. First comes the Epitaph of the Virgin Spiliotissa from the New Fortress and Pantokrator to Kampiello until 10 at night, followed by the impressive Epitaph of Metropolis. Each Epitaph accompanied by a choir, a band, and lanterns and banners which are carried sideways in mourning.
• On Easter Saturday at the church of the Virgin Mary of Ksénon (of the strangers) at 6 am, the custom of the artificial earthquake re-enacts the earthquake that followed Christ’s Resurrection. At 11.00 a.m., the first Resurrection is announced. People say the phrase “Christos Anesti” (Christ is risen) to one another. The response is “Alithos Anesti” (he has truly risen). What follows is truly an impressive sight. People toss clay pots from windows and balconies which crash the streets below with onlookers cheering for more. At night, you can attend the Catholic Mass of the Resurrection in Duomo, or the Orthodox Resurrection Service at the upper square. The Resurrection of Christ is celebrated at midnight sharp with drum beats and fireworks.
• On Easter Sunday, from 7.00 in the morning, every church wanders the central streets of the city with philharmonic orchestras, schools, scouts, and choirs. In most of Greece, people celebrate by eating roasted lamb but this only began in Corfu in recent years and is not part of tradition. It’s common to eat egg-lemon soup which is easier on the stomach after the 40 day fast and the lamb is saved for the second day of Easter.
Catch all the festivities you can! This week we are expecting some showers but generally good temperatures from 16-22 degrees during the day.
Enjoy and Happy Easter from us!