Corfiot Easter is considered to be the most magnificent celebration. Thousands of tourists ( foreign and Greek) gather every year to experience the unforgettable rich Corfiot history combined with the traditional religious customs.
Corfiot Easter has a tremendous impact on its' visitors. During this time many elements are interweaved harmoniously together , the Christian faith, pagan traditions, the powerful presence of Saint Spyridon, the Roman Catholic community, the Venetian influence, the music of the philharmonic bands, genuine Corfiot humor and of course the natural atmosphere of spring.
Holy week is characterized by its church services, by fasting and by the anticipation of the resurrection.
On Good Friday each church in town holds a procession in memory of the burial of Christ. These processions go around town until late evening and that are followed by the local people and by thousands of visitors. This procession is held in the great square known as Espianada.
On Easter Saturday there's also a procession but this time it's the island's patron Saint, St. Spyridon whose head is enshrined in a golden case with his head in an upright position so it could be viewed by locals and visitors.
After this procession is over at 11 o clock the main streets in Espiananda are cleared by the police. The first resurrection will take place. The local people have filled before hand, huge and small amphoras with water and place them on their window sill and when the clock strikes 11 they will push them over their windows breaking into millions of pieces and splashing water everywhere. It is said if you take a piece from the broken amphoras you will have good luck all year long. Many tourists are bewildered by this. There's no evidence of when this tradition began but they say it's a demonstration of anger at Judas betrayal of Jesus.
In the evening of Holy Saturday crowds gather again at Espianada, here the bishop at exactly midnight will announce the miracle of the resurrection chanting “Christos Anesti” which means Christ has Risen.
Once these words have been said bands play the Easter hymn ( nice and loudly), cannons roar from the fortress, fireworks fill the air, church bells in town start ringing and the whole square is one big bright light. Not only are hundreds of electric lights switched on but everyone lights candles and all the houses on Espianada are decorated with yet more candles lit at the Bishop's proclaim. Then slowly the people go home with the candle still lit in one hand. The candle should remain lit till one reaches home and makes a cross on his door with the Holy light.
On Easter Sunday, at 7 a.m., churches in town posses the icon of the resurrection and they have a procession with it , once again around Espianada. This is something that's worth seeing.
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