Easter in Corfu

If there is a time of year when it is worth to be in Corfu, that's definitely during Easter. In no other area in Greece,neither village nor town, does one feel the atmosphere of the holiday so intensely. The island's numerous churches intensify the religious atmosphere. One of them is the church Panagia ton Xenon (Virgin Mary of the Foreigners), with icons made by Tzane, Koutouzis,Tsagarole etc. Across the street there is St. John's church, built in the 16th century. Kapodistrias, Solomos, Mantzaros and Nikiforos Theotokis used to go to church here.

The celebration of Easter in Corfu is a totally different experience than the rest of Greece and new for the island's visitors.

It is a holiday in which the christian orthodox faith, the pagan tradition, the presence of St. Spiridon, the catholic community, the venetian influence, the authentic corfiot humor, the music of the many philarmonic ochestras and the atmosphere of spring are combined.

The Easter service on Saturday evening of the Holy week takes place in Spianada with the presence of thousands of believers as well as in most of the island's churches. If one is lucky enough to watch the ceremony from a high spot (in one of the buildings next to the square), she or he has the privilege to witness an impressive sight: small trembling flames of thousands of lit candles lighten the square and the streets around it magnificently,while at the moment of, "Christos Anesti (Christus is resurrected)" fireworks are set off from the fortress offering an exciting sight.

At noon on Easter Sunday in another interesting area of Corfu, in Lefkimmi, a religious procession starts from the first church of the small town. An elderly woman with her traditional white scarf and a young girl with modern clothes carry the icon of Easter together. The local band with the orange insignia is present. From every church the procession passes, more icons are taken and carried with, until it becomes a large litany that "flows" in the town's streets. Ahead goes a banner with the icon of Resurrection on a very high mast, carried by a strong man. All of a sudden the procession stops and turns to the West chanting St. Spiridons dismissal hymn. The town of Corfu and the Saint's chuch are in that direction.

The priests kneel down, read the Gospel and pray. A happy outbreak follows with loud explosions and gunshots. These prayers happen one more time to the East, at another point of the route in Lefkimmi, before the icons are returned to the temples and just before the whole of Corfu will start to feel nostalgia for the Passions and the feast's atmosphere and to eagerly wait for the next special Corfiot Easter.

Κάβος Πλάζα
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Τηλ: 26620 61704

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