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Corfu Easter Guide 2024

Corfu Easter Guide

As Easter approaches, the picturesque island of Corfu emerges with a vibrant display of traditions, culture, and natural beauty. From religious processions to lively festivities, there’s something for everyone to experience during this special time of year. If you’re planning a visit to Corfu this Easter, there’s no better way to explore the island than with Best Car Rental. With convenient locations including Corfu Airport, we make it easy for you to discover all that Corfu has to offer at your own pace. Let’s embark on a journey through Corfu’s Easter traditions and must-see attractions, all made accessible with the freedom of a rental car.

Palm Sunday: Honoring Saint Spyridon

The solemnity of Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday with the stirring litany of the Holy Shrine of Saint Spyridon. This grand procession, winding through the ancient Venetian city walls, pays homage to the island’s Patron Saint and commemorates the miraculous deliverance from a deadly plague in 1629. Against the backdrop of the historic cityscape, local Philharmonics fill the air with mournful melodies, setting the tone for the days ahead.

Good Friday: A Day of Solemn Reflection

As the sun sets on Good Friday, Corfu is enveloped in a somber atmosphere as funereal bell tolls echo through the streets. Ecclesiastical ceremonies mark the Descent of Christ from the Cross, while young girls adorned in traditional attire decorate Epitaphs with fragrant flowers. The evening culminates in a poignant procession, with bands and choruses accompanying the solemn journey of the Epitaphs, evoking a sense of reverence and contemplation.

Easter Saturday: Morning

The events and traditions of Holy Saturday in Corfu are among the most cherished moments of Easter on the island. The day begins at 6 a.m. at the church of “Madonna of foreigners,” where a symbolic “earthquake” is staged to depict the earthquake during the resurrection, as described in the Holy Bible. Following this, the procession of the Epitaph takes place at the church of Saint Spiridon. This custom dates back to the Venetian era when public processions of the epitaph were prohibited for security reasons, prompting them to be held within the churches instead. Simultaneously, another procession occurs, commemorating the deliverance of the island from famine, carrying the relics of St. Spyridon. Funeral tunes like ‘Amleto’ are played by the city bands, setting a solemn atmosphere.

However, the mood undergoes a swift transformation from mourning to joy as Easter approaches. At 11:00 a.m., the unique custom of “botides” unfolds: residents and guests eagerly anticipate the moment when, from every balcony across the island, large clay pitchers, many filled with water, are joyfully tossed into the streets, a symbolic gesture of casting away the old and welcoming the new. Church bells resound joyfully, particularly around the central gathering point near the Liston, the heart of this tradition. Amidst the joyful chaos, bands play uplifting melodies as they march through the town, adding to the celebratory atmosphere.

Easter Saturday: Evening

At last, the eagerly awaited moment arrives, the hour of resurrection. The most magnificent Resurrection Mass takes place in the bandstand on the Upper Esplanade in Corfu Town with a great firework show and the bands playing the joyful march of “Grekoi”. However, every village on the island holds its ceremonies, typically starting indoors in the church and concluding outdoors, contingent upon the weather. Each ceremony is a sight to behold, radiating wonder and reverence.

Easter Sunday: A Day of Celebration and Renewal

On Easter Sunday, the island awakens to a sense of renewal and rebirth. Attend the Service of Love, where the spirit of Easter is palpable in the flickering candlelight and melodious chants. Venture beyond the confines of Corfu town to explore the countryside and villages, where traditional festivities abound. From colorful processions to feasts of local delicacies, Easter Sunday offers a myriad of opportunities to celebrate the joy of resurrection and renewal.

This Easter, embark on an unforgettable journey through the enchanting island of Corfu with Best Car Rental as your trusted companion. From exploring ancient traditions to discovering hidden treasures, there’s no limit to what you can experience with the convenience and flexibility of a rental car. Book your rental car today and make the most of your Corfu adventure. Happy Easter and safe travels!

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