Corfu, which is located in the northwest of Greece, is a famous island. This land gloriously celebrates Easter each year. It is known as the best Easter celebration which is held in Greece.
Easter celebration is marked by Holy Masses that last for all Easter week. The procession of Saint Spyridon, the protector of the island, makes the tour of the Old Town along the old Venetian paths and stops at various intervals for prayers and entreaties. Ecclesiastical hymns from the churches can be heard all over the town during the Holy Week.
On Good Friday, the churches overflow with people for the ceremony of the Descent of Christ from the Cross. The descent of the dead Christ from the Cross on a white sheet takes place in an emotional atmosphere accompanied with the funeral ring of the bells. Bells ring sadly all day long.
The custom of the gathering of Epitaphs takes place in Good Friday morning. These Epitaphs actually symbolize the tomb of Jesus Christ. Young girls decorate them with flowers and men take them on their shoulders to make the tour of the Town. Epitaphs are passed around the city and cross each other on their way. Each epitaph is accompanied by a chorus and candles, which indicate the funeral nature of the procession. The Epitaphs of all churches in Corfu Town meet on Good Friday morning in the area of Liston and prayers are again read.
Another local Easter custom of Corfu involves the throwing of water-filled clay pots from the windows of the houses onto the streets below. On Good Saturday morning, people in the Old Town throw ceramic pots filled with water from their windows. As the pot falls onto the ground, it breaks and makes a loud noise. This noise means that the message of the Resurrection of Christ must be heard loudly and that Death has been beaten. This custom was brought to the island by the Venetian conquerors in the 16th century and keeps on till today.
On Good Saturday midnight, all people concentrate in Spianada Square, Corfu Town, where a Greek Orthodox Service is held to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. When the bells strike midnight, light from the Cave of Birth in Bethlehem is given to people, who hold white candles. The white color of the candles symbolizes that this occasion is joyful because Christ has risen. Then fireworks light up the night sky and songs are sung accompanied by orchestral music.
The next day, on Easter Sunday, all Greek families celebrate Easter with lamb on the spit, red eggs and traditional buns. Wine is affluent and dancing follows. The atmosphere is vivid and joyful.