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 Post subject: CORFU Island - Greek Orthodox Easter 2012
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: 21 Apr 2012 15:41 
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CORFU Island - Greek Orthodox Easter 2012

Most of you know, before moving to live permanently in the UK, I have lived and worked most of my young life in the island of Corfu, from where, I have some wonderful memories. So this year, I decided to take my wife there, to celebrate the Greek Easter on the 15th April 2012.

While the weather was not brilliant, luck was on my side and we had a wonderful holiday experience. Hanna can’t stop talking about everything and especially how beautiful is the island and she started learning a lot of Greek words, so now I have to watch my p & q's. [sad.gif]

Easyjet started direct flights in March, for first time, so just before we went to Malaga, Spain, on the 16th March, I booked a nice promotional fare for £85, each, Return from Gatwick. We always travel light so no extras to pay! [biggrin.gif]

Finding a little and nice B&B hotel in Dassia, which is only 10 minutes drive from Corfu Town, wasn't that difficult for me and below you can see our balcony view.


A room with a view at "La Calma Hotel in Dassia"

The celebration of Easter in Corfu a unique experience, completely different from anywhere else in Greece and particularly impressive for the first-time visitors to the island. It if a huge festival, in which various components come together harmoniously, the Orthodox Christian faith, pagan traditions, the powerful presence of Saint Spiridon (protector of the island), the Roman Catholic community, the Venetian influence, the genuine Corfiot humour, the music of the philharmonic bands and of course the spring atmosphere.

Holy Week throughout Greece is characterised by its church services, by fasting, and the anticipation of the Resurrection.
I would recommend to any visitor that during Holy Week, hire a car, leave the town and venture out to the villages in Corfu. Wander in the countryside, that is moving into spring and the season of fertility and renewal, and enjoy its perfumes. After the dullness of winter, with its rain and cold weather, the sunlight amplifies the fresh colours of nature. The white, yellow, mauve and green of the wild flowers, the blue of the sky and the sea, form the backdrop of spectacular scenery that I haven’t seen anywhere else, during my countless trips to other Greek islands and places abroad.

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Vlacherna Monastery at the front and the Mouse Island

Good Friday is the day of the Epitaphios, the funeral of Christ. All over the island, as all over Greece, every church brings out its own funeral bier and parades it around the parish. In Corfu however, the attendant philharmonic orchestras and choirs, the presence of thousands of Corfiot’s as well as foreign visitors, give another dimension to the gravity of the occasion.



The last "Epitafios" and most impressive is the one of "Metropolis" that starts at 10 PM.
In this one 3 different bands take part and play various famous music compositions of Verdi,
Chopin, Adagio of Albinoni and the Mantzaros band play Calde Lacrimae and few others.

On Holy Saturday the "Epitafios" od St. Spiridon is coming out at around 9 AM followed by St. Spiridon Cask and the Old Band plays Hamlet.

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On Holy Saturday at 11 a.m. the First Resurrection and the "Pot Throwing" custom take place, and the local people throw pots out of their windows, smashing them onto the streets below.

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Look carefully... all windows and balconies are full of clay pots, some very large.


At around midday after all above finish on the main lower "Esplanade Square" the bands start doing various exhibitions of music and marching around..... and here is an example from the old Band....



In the evening, before the Orthodox ceremony takes place, you may attend the Catholic service at the Duomo Cathedral. With the participation of all Church officials, the Resurrection service finishes here at 11 pm, to permit the clergy time to prepare themselves for the Orthodox service.

All over Greece the ceremony takes place on a platform outside the church. In Corfu town, the service is held in the Upper part of the Esplanade Square, starting at the Church of Agia Paraskevi, with the, participation of the Bishop, the philharmonic orchestras, and thousands of people.

The Resurrection is seen in with a roll of drums and an impressive firework display, and when this ends the bands traverse the streets of the town at a great pace playing cheerful music, with people running behind them singing.



The fireworks lasted for over 15 minutes.... very impressive.

The party has only just begun, and will last until dawn. The Resurrection is celebrated and the Lenten fast is broken with chilihourda (the local Easter soup), red eggs, fogatsa (brioche), columbines (a special bread of Venetian origin, baked in the form of a dove) and of course lots of wine but the great Easter Celebration is far from over.

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Easter Sunday having lunch with the family of our friends.
Sorry if my ugly mag, is not in the photo but somebody had to take it!
Hanna is there... anyway! [veryhappy.gif]

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 Post subject: Re: CORFU Island - Greek Orthodox Easter 2012
Post Number:#2  PostPosted: 21 Apr 2012 17:42 
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More Photos and Videos from our Easter in Corfu

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View of "Paleokastritsa" from Bella Vista.

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The Paleokastritsa Monastery from Bella Vista

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"Paleokastritsa" from the Monastery

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Achillion Palace

The Palace, located in the village of Gastouri, was erected in 1890 for Elizabeth (Sissy), the Empress of Austria as the solace of her soul. It was used as her summer retreat. Later the Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany bought the Palace. Directly below, on the coast, is the unusual Kaiser’s bridge, the stone built jetty where the Kaiser set out on his yacht for swimming trips. The Palace is definitely a place to take your camera. This beautiful building in picturesque gardens overlooks the sea and Corfu town.

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Achilles dying

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Corfu Town view from Achillion Palace.

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Kalami NE of Corfu - The white house on the left is where Laurence Darrell lived.
He wrote the book "My family and other animals"

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Kouloura

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St Stefano bay, NE of Corfu

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The museum of Chinese Art in Corfu town

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 Post subject: Re: CORFU Island - Greek Orthodox Easter 2012
Post Number:#3  PostPosted: 22 Apr 2012 08:10 
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Really good photos Yannis, nice place, I have never been to Corfu, but have been to many of the other Greek Islands. My wife being from Western Ukraine is Greek Orthodox and will like to see the traditional celebrations too, I will show them too her.

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 Post subject: Re: CORFU Island - Greek Orthodox Easter 2012
Post Number:#4  PostPosted: 22 Apr 2012 09:52 
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Chris wrote:
Really good photos Yannis, nice place, I have never been to Corfu, but have been to many of the other Greek Islands. My wife being from Western Ukraine is Greek Orthodox and will like to see the traditional celebrations too, I will show them too her.

Thanks Chris

Corfu is very beautiful island, in comparison with other islands. Reason is that during winter is raining a lot and keeps it Green. I suggest whenever you want to go back to Greece to choose Corfu and the best time to go are during End of May till Early July and then in September.

Easter is another thing........ and next year is on the 5th May....... we were lucky this years regarding costs but don't forget you must rent a car otherwise you will miss a lot!

youTube has countless of videos.

Attachment:
hanna.jpg


Hanna taking photos.... [lol.gif]

Sorry but the video is not high resolution....to post clearer photo! [sad.gif] .


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 Post subject: Re: CORFU Island - Greek Orthodox Easter 2012
Post Number:#5  PostPosted: 22 Apr 2012 10:18 
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Nice pictures. :) I wish I could goto greece once more (But not Athens, it was not what I hoped for).

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 Post subject: Re: CORFU Island - Greek Orthodox Easter 2012
Post Number:#6  PostPosted: 22 Apr 2012 17:26 
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Well we are going to the Med in early June, we will have to try Corfu sometime, my wife would love to go to Athens and it is a long time since I was there, but not at the moment, may have to give it a while before things get back to normal over there.

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