Easter, also known as Pascha, is the celebration of the return of Jesus Christ from the dead and it is celebrated on the island of Corfu in a spectacular manner as it is one of the biggest events of the year for the island and the festivities are unique.

The celebration of Easter kicks off with the Palm Sunday where the legend of Saint Spyridon relieving the city of a deadly plague is celebrated.

Multiple numbers of events are then hosted on the next two days which are known as the Great Monday and Great Tuesday where the traditional lanterns are dressed in purple color in order to reflect their mourning and the town floods scents of fogatsa – a traditional sweet bread with a red colored egg in the middle - and mandolato, the favorite sweet of Corfiots made with sugar or honey, roasted nuts, whipped egg whites, and candied fruits.

Corfu island, Greece

On Holy Tuesday a Poetry and Musical evening themed “From Calvary to the Resurrection” is held by the Corfu Events Organization in the colonnade of the Old Palace while in the churches chant the byzantine hymn of Kassiani.

As the week goes by, on Holy Wednesday the Corfu Municipal Chorus gives a concert in the Municipal Theatre where locals and the visitors of the island fill up the Theatre to attend the event and sing ecclesiastical hymns of the Passion Week.

During Holy Thursday, the 12 Gospels and the Last Supper are read in every church. In the Roman Cathedral situated in Town Hall, there are twelve lit candles and each one is erased at the end of one of the twelve readings while at the Catholic Cathedral (Duomo), the Catholic Archbishop Ioannis Spiteris symbolically wash the feet of twelve children. People experience with great respect the drama of Jesus’s Crucifixion and when the first bell of the church ring, people dye eggs in red color to symbolize the rebirth of life and nature and the blood of Christ.

On Good Friday, the most mournful day of Christianity, all different churches send their processions of Epitaphs out into the streets to meet at the center of the town, accompanied by the philharmonics, which is a truly beautiful scene. The choir and all people hold lit candles high and the procession follows a specific route while the city is full of purple lights as a sign of mourning.

In the morning of the Holy Saturday, an artificial earthquake is created at 6 o’ clock to represent the earthquake during Christ’s First Resurrection. Later, at 11a.m., church bells around town signal the “First Resurrection” ringing with full gusto!

Corfu island, Greece

According to Corfu’s custom, people throw their 'Botides' from their their balconies and terraces. These are pitches with water, making a loud noise when hitting the ground in order to create an “earthquake” that is like the one that occurred following Christ’s resurrection from his tomb.

On the night the Catholic Mass of the Resurrection takes place in Duomo with the accompaniment of the ecclesiastical organ. The Orthodox Resurrection Service takes place at Upper Spianada Square. A unique spectacle at the sight of thousands of candles on the balconies, the windows and the hands of the people that attend the event while the Philharmonics march around the city playing cheerful marches.

Maybe no other place in the world celebrates Easter as uniquely and with as much energy as the small Greek island of Corfu does.

Over recent years, many people have been drawn to the beautiful Greek island just to witness the absolutely stunning celebrations of the holiday of Easter. The island is also great to visit for on a vacation in spring in general, with the larger than life celebrations of Easter as a cherry on the cake.