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You Guide to Celebrate Eastern In Corfu

Experience the Rich Traditions of Orthodox Easter on the Enchanting Island of Corfu. 

Welcome to Corfu, a gem in the Ionian Sea, where tradition and beauty come together to create a unique Easter celebration. If you’re fortunate enough to be on the island during this special time, here’s your guide to experiencing the richness of Orthodox Easter in Corfu. In Greece, Orthodox Easter is celebrated with an entire week of festivities – aptly titled The Holy Week – with Good Friday 3rd May, Easter Sunday 5th May, and Easter Monday 6th May, being celebrated as public holidays. The date of Easter here is calculated using a modified Julian calendar versus the Gregorian calendar observed by the Christians and countries in the west. Below you will find the top days on Easter and the best things to experience during the Greek Easter.

1. The Good Friday (Megali Paraskevi)

Good Friday is considered to be a sacred day in Greece. Traditionally, the day starts out with local girls and women decorating a replica (or “epitaph”) of Christ’s funeral bier with flowers. This is then marched through the streets of the villages or neighbourhoods in the city following an evening mass entitled “The Epitaph Mass.” Encompassed in the epitaph circumambulation are multiple choruses and bands. Good Friday is recognised as a mournful day, the faithful begin to gather at churches and squares of the cities and villages before 11 p.m., carrying large white candles. Before midnight, the lights of the churches are put out in symbolism of the darkness that Christ had to endure as he passed through the underworld. 

2. Attend the Resurrection Service

Orthodox Easter begins with the Resurrection service on Holy Saturday night. Head to one of the island’s many churches, such as the Panagia Spiliotissa Church in Corfu Town, and immerse yourself in the powerful atmosphere as the midnight Resurrection is celebrated. Witness the procession of the Holy Light, a truly magical experience.

3. Participate in the Traditional Processions

On Holy Saturday night and Easter Sunday morning, join the locals in the traditional processions through the streets. The epitome is the Resurrection Procession on Easter Sunday morning, where the entire town comes alive with music, candles, and the joyous proclamation, “Christos Anesti” (Christ is Risen).

4. Experience the Pot Throwing Tradition

Experience a unique Corfiot tradition on Holy Saturday morning. Head to the Old Fortress to witness the
“Botides” ceremony. Locals throw clay jugs filled with water from the fortress walls, creating a spectacular
display of lights and sounds, symbolizing the earthquake that followed Christ’s resurrection. This also, symbolizes the discarding of the old and welcoming the new. This lively custom is not only a spectacle but also a fascinating insight into local beliefs.

5. Savour The Easter Feast

Indulge in a traditional Corfiot Easter feast. Enjoy specialties like lamb on the spit, tsoureki (sweet Easter
bread), and the famous kumquat liqueur produced on the island. Local tavernas and restaurants will offer
special Easter menus, providing a delicious taste of Corfu’s culinary delights.

6. Explore The Beauty of Corfu Town

Take advantage of your time in Corfu Town. Stroll through the charming narrow streets of the Old Town,
visit the Liston promenade, and enjoy the Easter decorations adorning the city. Don’t forget to capture
the unique blend of Venetian, French, and British influences in the architecture.

7. Respect Local Custom Traditions

While celebrating, remember to respect the local customs and traditions. Join in the festivities with a spirit
of camaraderie, and be open to experiencing the rich cultural heritage of Corfu.


Photos by Marina Gr and Eddie Kastamonitis

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