Easter in Corfu
Easter in Corfu, Colours and Aromas of Spring in the Garden of Music
Easter customs in Corfu
To enjoy all the religious celebrations held in the city of Corfu, here is your Holy Week programme:
During the Holy Week at “Avli” restaurant lent food is served, perfectly executed, made of the purest ingredients, at the parkland of Garitsa bay, in Corfu town. A beautiful place that you can combine the best quality of food with a pleasant and friendly environment. An open-air garden that overlooks the sea and the majestic Old Fortress of Corfu and full of blooming flowers.
Holy Week programme:
- On Good Monday. Everyone on the island is getting ready for the celebrations to come. They bake “foyátsa” (a kind of brioche decorated with a red egg), and “mandoláto” (a nobles’ favourite macaroon made of almond and honey) and the distinctive aromas waft through the air.
- On Good Tuesday. Listen to the story of Mary Magdalene “hymned” at the city churches. At around 9.00 p.m. Music and Poetry Night with the theme: “From Golgotha to Resurrection” at the Peristyle of the Old Palace.
- On Good Wednesday. At noon the Corfiots attend the Holy Unction. At 8.30 p.m. at the Municipal Theatre the Municipal Chorus sing ecclesiastical hymns of the Passion Week.
- On Maundy Thursday. The ringing of the first bell means it is time for the Easter eggs to be dyed red, a custom that symbolises the rebirth of life and nature.The Service of the Holy Passion is held in the churches. In the Duomo, the Catholic Cathedral, 12 candles are lit and put out one at a time after the reading of each of the 12 Gospels.
- On Good Friday. Churchly ceremonies memorialize the Descent of Christ from the Cross. On this day, young girls decorate the Epitaphs, whose circumambulation begins early in the afternoon accompanied by choruses and bands. The last Epitaph of Corfu Cathedral, the most impressive one, starts at 10.00 p.m. An ecstatic dimension is given by the bands in this mournful night: the “Old” Philharmonic performs Albinoni’s Adagio, the “Mántzaros” Philharmonic plays Verdi’s Marcia Funebre, and the “Kapodistrias” Philharmonic plays Mariani’s Sventura and Chopin’s Funeral March.
- On Easter Saturday. At 6.00 a.m. at the church of the Virgin Mary of Ksénon (of the strangers) 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 hurl clay pots from windows and balconies which crash noisily on the streets below. Bells start to ring loudly and the bands play joyful sounds as they parade through the streets.
At night, attend the Catholic Mass of the Resurrection in Duomo, or the Orthodox Resurrection Service at “Páno Platía” (Upper Square). Visitors will find themselves surrounded by thousands of lit candles: on balconies, on window sills or held by others attending the ceremony. The Resurrection of Christ is celebrated at 12.00 sharp with drum beats and fireworks. People say the phrase “Christós Anésti” (Christ is risen) to one another. The response is “Alithós Anésti” (he has truly risen).
- Celebrate Easter Sunday visiting villages of Corfu into the countryside and to participate in all the festivities held throughout the island.
Be prepared to experience a truly unique celebration!
***Photos by Stamatis Katapodis
Tuesday12:00 AM - 23:45 PM
Wednesday12:00 AM - 23:45 PM
Thursday12:00 AM - 23:45 PM
Friday12:00 AM - 23:45 PM
Saturday12:00 AM - 23:45 PM
Sunday12:00 AM - 23:45 PM