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Corfu Events


Easter in Corfu

It’s no secret. The celebration of Easter in the island of Corfu is a truly unique experience, combining  elements from Paganism, Agios Spyridon’s spirit (the Patron Saint of the island), the Roman Catholic community, the Venetians, the locals’ mentality and of course the Orthodox faith.

On Holly Friday, the philharmonics and island choirs accompany the procession of the Epitafios (Christ’s -decorated with flowers- tomb) from all the churches around the city and they all gather in the main square. The celebrations of Holly Saturday begin around 11am when the locals celebrate the First Resurrection with the tossing of clay pots from their windows a tradition originated from the Venetians; the philharmonics parade around the city, playing joyful songs, which according to Paganism is like a celebration for the end of winter and the re-awakening of nature in spring.

The Resurrection of Christ is announced at midnight by the archbishop and celebrated with millions of fireworks and music played by the philharmonics and choir followed by a feast made up of delicious Tsilihourda, red eggs, columbines (bread of Venetian origin) and lots of local wine.

On Easter Sunday the churches parade around the city, the municipality offers lunch at the New Fortress and everybody spit-roasts the traditional lamb. People crack red eggs and throw the shells in the gardens to bless the harvest.

here are also other customs, such as the Sacred Wedding, the custom of Vlahoi, the Dance of the Priests and many more, which are still very much reenacted in the countryside villages of the island.


 

Corfu Events
Corfu is a vivacious island where numerous cultural, religious and artistic events are hosted throughout year; from concerts, art exhibitions and festivals, to church celebrations, seminars, symposiums, theatrical shows and local festivities.
 

Carnival

The ancient Greek celebrations hosted in the beginning of spring to honor Dionysos are the predecessor of today’s Carnival concept and festivities. Corfu’s festivities are heavily influenced by Venetian customs making the Corfiat Carnival unique, compared to the others in Greece. The attires and the floats are somewhat medieval and breathe an Italian flair.

One of the most interesting customs is Petegoletsa, a street theater preformed by the locals. The protagonists are the local women who get out in their balconies in the Old Town and gossip about other people on the island, the politicians and anything they want in the authentic Corfu dialect. This takes place on the last Thursday before Ash Monday.


 

Folklore Groups Festival
The festival takes place every year in Corfu around the end of March in the Municipal Theater. It’s a festival that hosts folklore groups from all over the country, consisting of adults and kids. During the last years, this has become a major event and even started attracting groups from neighboring countries.

 

Major Festivities throughout the year
• Mid-August – Varkarola Music Festival in Palaiokastritsa
Late October – Revolution processions throughout the Ionian Islands
Early November – Agios Spyridonas celebrations
September – Chamber Music Festival Divertimenti
Summer – International Festival of Philharmonics
June – Spring Festival of Classical Music in Paxoi
June – Brindisi-Corfu Regatta, an yacht race with boats from all over Europe
July – Ionian Concerts, which is a musical congress with important artists from all over the world

 

Various village festivities
40 days after Easter – Celebrations in the village of Analipsi.
May 8 and August 15 – Celebration for the Dormition of Virgin Mary in Kanoni and in Kassopi
May 20 – Celebration in Alikes Potamou
May 21 – Marathon to honor Achilles, ending up in Benitses
June 4 – Saint John celebrations, in Mantouki and in many villages with the custom of Lampantina, where people jump over fires
June 24 – Holy Spirit day, with celebrations in Kontokali, Argyrades, Stavros, Kastellanous Mesis and in Othonoi
July 2 – Virgin Mary of Vlaherna and festivities in Garitsa
July 13 – Celebration for Agios Spyridonas in Saroko
August 6 – The Metamorphosis of Jesus Christ in Pontikonisi, Perivoli, Strinila, Palaiohori, Agioi Deka, Agios Matthaios and a 6day celebration on the peak of mountain Pantokratoras
August 11 / first Sunday of November / Palm Sunday and Holly Saturday – Litanies all over the island with the participation of the philharmonics
August 15 – Celebration in the Monastery of Platytera
September 14 – Celebration of the Holy Cross in the monastery of Saint John and in Sidari
September 14 – Sardine festival in Benitses
December 24 – Bands, choruses and musicians parade around town playing and singing Christmas Hymns

 


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