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EASTER PROGRAM

 
 

Easter program is based on religious ceremonies, which follow in order until the day of Jesus’ resurrection.

The first ceremony is on Sunday when at 11:00 o’clock in the streets of the Old Town      starts litany, currying the body of St. Spyridon, the patron Saint of the Island. This    tradition is kept from the year 1630 to commemorate the relief of the island from famine     that on the year 1629 killed a mass of Corfiot people. This litany is the biggest and all philharmonic bands (14) of the island are present.



 

Good Monday

 During the day everyone is shopping and in the evening all old churches in the town have a     mass.

 On Tuesday and Wednesday the churches are full of people and the priests are citing    passages from the Bible.

Good Friday

Early in the morning starts mourning procession currying the body    of Jesus (Epitaph). At 16:00 o’clock starts from the Church of St. George (in the Old Fortress) bigger Epitaph. This one continues until the night when from each church in the town   (except the Church of St. Spyridon) must start its own Epitaph accompanied with one philharmonic band. At 21:00 start    the last and also the most magnificent Epitaph. This one    is of Metropolitan Church. Philharmonic bands are playing mourning melodies such as Adagio from Albinoni. A big choir of Metropolitan Church, representatives of the secondary schools and Boy Scouts are altogether marching in this procession.

Good Saturday

The day starts in the Church of St. Mary where the real earthquake is simulated at 06:00    o’clock in the morning. This represents the earthquake described in the Bible after Jesus’      resurrection. At 09:00 o’clock starts from the Church of St. Spyridon the Epitaph. In the    year 1574 Venetians forbid to Corfiot people this procession to take place on Good Friday.    Therefore, this procession is taking place on Good Saturday. The pomp is moving     rhythmically together with the music of the three best philharmonic bands. First    Philharmonic   band, Old Philharmonic (1840), starts from the old City Hall and plays Hamlet by Italian composer Faccio. Second Philharmonic band, Mantzaros Philharmonic (1890), is playing Galde la Crime (Hot Tears) by Michelli and the last one, Capodistrias Philharmonic (1980), is playing Beethoven’s Heroika. At 11:00 o’clock, the crowd is waiting for so-called First Resurrection. In the middle of the street of the Old Town is set a big barrel filled with water and decorated with flowers. All passers-by must throw some coins in this barrel. Then its guards are chasing the people around and when they catch one, they throw him or her into the barrel. This person is very wet and is trying to make everyone around wet as well. As a reward for being wet he or she keeps the money from the barrel. Later on when everyone leaves from the Metropolitan Church all the bells from all churches in the town start ringing. While ringing of the bells,    thousands of ceramic doses filled with water are thrown down from the balconies on the    streets of the Old Town. This tradition also comes from one phrase in the Bible. Evening    about 23:00 everybody gathers on the big square where the holy mass is taking place.    Everybody holds a candle, which is lit from the holy flame. Until the end of the mass    everybody on the square has burning candle. Moreover, every house in the Old Town has     on    its balcony dozens of lit candles. This adds to the town unique and unforgettable    atmosphere. Exactly at 24:00 o’clock comes resurrection and as soon as the priest says    ‘Christos Anesti’ a big and magnificent bonfire starts and everyone is shaking hands and     wishes Happy Easter to all people around.

The tradition says that every family must boil the eggs and paint them red (also from the    Bible). Every member of the family has its own egg with which is trying to break the egg    of    other members of the family. Whose egg will break all the other’s eggs and will not    break, he or she will have a big luck all year round.

 Holy Sunday

 At 07:00 o’clock every church comes out to the streets of the Old Town with the symbol    of   resurrection, together with students of secondary schools, philharmonic bands and    singing choir. Afternoon the Navy Base in New Fortress, to keep the tradition, is giving to      citizens meze (a mixture of meat) while dancing groups are performing. This day is also the last day of 40 days fasting and therefore on Sunday afternoon every Greek family    grills a whole lamb and has a big feast to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.

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