Greek Easter Corfu Brass Band Feature Image

Experience the Timeless Traditions and Vibrant Celebrations of the resurrection

With the Easter holiday soon to be here, it’s an opportunity to highlight what a wonderful celebration easter is in Greece. The Greek Orthodoox church calendar differs from the Catholic/Protestant calendar and this year Greek Easter is over the weekend of May 3rd to the 5th. What’s more, the Easter festivities of the Greek Orthodox church are probably the most colourful and interesting you will find anywhere.

That’s why we have decided to operate an Easter flotilla in the Ionian this year visiting Corfu, an island especially noted for its colourful celebrations over Easter weekend. We start on April 28th from Lefkas with time to explore the Norhern Ionian before arriving in Corfu on Good Friday.

Corfu Town

Good Friday evenings proceedings begin with the Epitaph, a solemn but colourful occasion, with a procession attended by absolutely everyone, lead by the flower adorned Epitaph accompanied by local dignitaries, a military guard of honour, brass bands and the entire population all holding candles. Saturday morning sees a rather bizarre ritual in the narrow streets of the old town of Corfu, where large ceramic jugs of water are flung from the balconies, shattering all over the narrow streets. It really is ‘smashing fun’ and  It’s not as dangerous as it sounds as the appropriate sections are cordoned off so that spectators are safe.

The Corfiots (people of Corfu) love their brass bands and they come out in force in their smart colourful uniforms on any excuse, with Easter being especially important on their calendar  and very accomplished they are too!

In the run-up to midnight, everybody takes to the streets again as midnight is the symbolic marking of the resurrection of Christ and on the stroke of the hour it is complete pandemonium with fireworks and hugs and kisses all round. Take your candle or lantern, as everyone takes the holy light home, which is brought all the way from Jerusalem. Since many have been fasting over lent, the locals then go and eat a traditional Easter soup, before retiring for the night to be ready for Easter Day.

The only way to describe Easter Sunday in Greece is as an all day party of eating, drinking, singing and dancing. It’s a time for families and friends to come together, eat drink and be merry (and I mean really merry !). We shall do a little sailing for the day before our Easter party that evening, which will, among other things feature traditional red painted eggs as well as spit roasted lamb and all sorts of other local delicacies.

Sailing in the Ionian is always wonderful, but if you are free for that late April early May fortnight, we could not think of a better way to mark the start of the summer sailing season. Yachts are available from £1,745 for 14 nights.

If you cant manage two weeks away, then our Saronic Gulf flotilla starting on May 4th features a free hotel stay pre flotilla to ensure you can experience the full Easter spectacle.

For more details of our 14 night North Ionian Explorer Greek Easter flotilla on 28th April click here.

For the Saronic Gulf  Greek Easter flotilla starting 3rd or 4th May click here.

And a Happy Easter to all!