Greek Orthodox Easter
Corfu Easter Guide
Corfu Easter Guide
Corfu Spianada Square
Easter is the greatest holiday of the Greek orthodox christianity and is celebrated in all over Greece, as well as in Corfu but in a special way. The influence of the western-europe culture in this, even orthodox, celebration.
In 2017, Orthdodox Easter is celebrated on 17th April, the same date as Catholic Easter.
In Corfu, the locals call easter "Lambri" which means bright and this shows the importance of this day, which comes after weeks of fasting. The special local customs of Corfu, in combination with the beginnig of spring, make the event unique and Corfu an attraction for visitors from all over the world.
Further down this article you will find the main schedule of the Corfu easter celebrations.
A Great Music Tradition
Corfu has a great tradition in music, with 18 philharmonic bands playing a major role on the island's music education and culture. Of course, all of them take part in Corfu easter holiday celebrations. With an average of 100 musicians in each of them playing, they all perform on the Sunday before easter, playing Marcias Funebre and reflect the seasons mood.
In the churches, the moving unique polyphonic choral music is another local specificity which overflows into the town's alleyways. This harmonious tunefulness came from Crete in the 17th century and is still called "Cretan".
Litany of Saint Spyridon
The Easter religious events in Corfu start on the Sunday befor Easter, "Vaion Sunday" as it is called. At 11:00 am starts the litany of the relic of Saint Spyridon, the protector of the island of Corfu. This litany takes part since 1630 as a remembrance of the Saint's miracle which saved the island's residents from plague. This is the longest litany, which crosses the old town's borders and all the 18 philharmonic bands of Corfu take part to honor Saint Spyridon. At 21:00 this evening, in Corfu municipality theater the "Palea" band gives a concert and brings us to the mood of the "Great week", the week prior Easter Sunday.
The beggining of holy week
The Corfiots have to do the nessesary shopping and get prepared for the coming celebrations. The town gets the smell of fogatsa and mandolato, traditional local products.
Poetic evening at Corfu old palace
Listen to the story of Mary Magdalene in the churches and at 21:00 visit the old palace and participate in the thematic poetic and musical evening "From Golgotha to resurrection".
Corfu municipal Chorus at the theatre
After the afternoon church, at 20:30 the minicipal chorus gives a concert with acclesiastical hymns at the municipal theater.
Paint the Eggs Red
On the hear of the first bell ring, the painting of the eggs begins. In all the churches the service of the holy passion is held. In the Duomo, the local catholic church, they light 12 candles and put out one after each of the 12 Gospels is read.
The Epitaphs Day
From early morning you will hear the funeral bells. this is the day of memmorising the Descent of Christ from the Cross. Young girls decorate the epitaphs whose circumambulation in the evening is attended by thousants of people. The greatest and most impressive one appears at 22:00 and is supported by the town's three pholharmonic bands which play Funeral Marcias.
A Great Celebration
Events on Easter Saturday in Corfu start early in the morning. At 6 a.m. in the church of Virgin Mary Ksenon the artificial earthquake is a custom for the remembrance of the earthquake which folloed the Jesus Resurrection. At 9 a.m. the Epitaph of Saint Spyridon appears, following the order of 1574 when the Venetians prohibited orthodox epitaphs to take place on holy Friday. At 11:00 a.m. takes place the "first resurrection" and it is the time of Lazarus. All over Corfu people break ceramic pots to celebrate the fact. The happening is more impressive in town where giant pots fall from high buidings.
Before midnight, thousants of people are visiting the squares in all villages and Corfu town, to attend the resurrection.