Greece’s Easter Pot Smashing, Corfu

Greece’s Easter Pot Smashing, Corfu

You can be sure that Easter in Greece will be smashing fun…just be sure not to bring any expensive china.

Greek Orthodox generally celebrate Easter on a different data than Catholic and Protestant Christians, and this year, the celebration will take place on April 15th.

While Easter morning in the city and surrounding villages of Corfu kick off with a traditional mass, most of the town waits with their ears to the window, listening for the signal that it has ended- a bell chime. At the stroke of 11 am, mass ends and the sounds of shattering pottery fill the air.

As soon as the church bell sounds, it’s a signal for every man, woman, and child to hurl their earthenware vessels from their windows and onto the streets.

While the tradition originated in Corfu, surrounding villages have joined in the fun.

 

How did it start?

The noisy custom derived from the Venetians, who on New Year’s Day, would throw their old things from the windows in the hopes of receiving new ones for the next year.

The Corfiots adopted the tradition, applying it to the most important day in their calendar, the Greek Easter. Somewhere along the way, old things have been replaced by pots and jugs of water, which make for an even louder noise upon impact.

It is even thought that the peculiar custom may have roots in the biblical passage “Thou, O Lord, raise me up, that I may crush them as a potter’s vessel.” There might also be lineage to the beginning of plantation season, when newly harvested produce was stored in new pots, and the old ones were destroyed.

 

A Look Inside Corfu

Nymphes

Nymphes is a big village with a lot of water, a lot of green, and a lot of legend built around it. According to the legend, in old times, the Nymphs used to bathe in the village’s waterfalls.

Walk to the wells and waterfalls and see for yourself. Rumors are that you’ll actually see the bathing nymphs, especially in the spring…though chances are those are just naked women.

Visit the premises of the Agriculture Co-operative which utilizes kum-kuat to produce liquors and sweets. Someone will offer you some for free, giving you the chance to try all of the different liquor qualities, and buy some, if you like.

 

Kynopiastes

Old mansions, small squares, and traditional colors welcome you as you walk through the narrow tiled paths of the town. You’ll find a church in the central square, noted for its unique architecture and impressive marble entrance.  At the end of the village is a 17th century monastery that is still used today.

 

Travel tip shared by MapSales
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