08th March 2013
Easter is arguably the best time to book cheap flights to the Greek islands, particularly Corfu, where centuries of Venetian rule have left an indelible, riotous mark on what is normally an austere religious festival.
No other Greek island celebrates Easter quite like Corfu. A truly religious occasion, it is also a festival of music featuring no fewer than 15 philharmonic bands veering from the heartrendingly beautiful to the joyously uplifting.
A Unique Custom to Corfu
The first key event is on Palm Sunday, and the procession of the holy relics of Saint Spyridon, who legend says saved the Corfiot people from plague. Good Friday is marked by the procession of the holy bier, representing the body of Christ. Equally moving is the litany procession of Saint Spyridon the following morning - the highlight of which is the hauntingly beautiful funeral march from the opera Amleto (Hamlet) by Franco Faccio.
What comes next is in total contrast, as the air is filled with the deafening crash and tinkle of smashing pottery. As the church bells sound out the end of the service, people hurl flower pots, jugs and all manner of other earthenware into the streets below. A custom unique to Corfu, it is thought to be derived from the Venetians, who did a similar thing on New Year’s Eve. The fact Saint Spyridon is the patron saint of potters may also be a clue, or it could have its roots in Ancient Greece.
Whatever the reason, it is great fun, and can be enjoyed through cheap flights to Corfu booked through Jet2.com.