Tag Archives: Easter

Easter in Corfu: My new site is up’n’running

Easter in Corfu // music in the air My new site about the Corfiot Easter

My new site is up’n’running! It is a site dedicated to the Beauty of the Easter in Corfu and it is titled ‘Easter in Corfu // music in the air’.

Greek Easter is almost here! Coming from Corfu this is a very special time for me. So, since I cannot be in the streets of Corfu this year, listening to its music and smelling the beautiful Spring aromas, I decided to create a digital ‘Homage’ to the Corfiot Easter.

I explain my fascination about the Easter celebration in Corfu at length on the site, so I won’t say much here. But in order to make it clear as to why I felt like sharing the beauty of the Corfiot Easter, I post here my ‘Personal Note‘ originally found on the Easter in Corfu site:

Easter in Corfu is popular and crowded and you might think it’s too much hassle because of that. But I beg to disagree. It is absolutely beautiful, therefore I completely understand the crowds that flock in and I put up with it. People are not crazy for wanting to experience this!

I am Corfiot and I grew up in Corfu. I took part in the Easter processions with my school and the girl guides since I was six up util I was an adult. In my uni years I used to fly back to Corfu just to be part of all this. Having been brought up in a non religious environment, I completely missed the fact that Easter was a religious event, up until the age of 12(!), although, as I said before, I was taking part in the processions. I thought the whole things was a Corfiot way of celebrating Spring and the priests and town churches just tagged along…

That is still more or less my impression of the Corfiot Easter and that is why throughout this site the religious aspect of the celebrations is only mentioned in event or day titles. In other words, through this site you will not find out anything more about Greek Orthodoxy or Christianity for that matter.

As an endnote, let me summarise my intention in sharing my love for the Corfiot Easter with all of you:

Corfiot Easter is an event that makes me feel I have a home that I love. It is a longer than a week festivity that uses all the Corfiot ‘peculiarities’ as essential elements in order for Easter to happen. It needs the coming of Spring in this blossoming island, the European influenced local culture, architecture and love for music. It needs the Greek outward ness, community style of life and pride, to people the whole thing. It needs the ancient rituals to translate into religious festivities. It needs a community which wishes to remember its deceased ones and its past, a community which yearns to celebrate life, a beautiful life ahead of us all.

Daria Koskorou (just days before Corfiot Easter, 2013)

 

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Easter on an Orthodox (is)land

Following my mood for trying something new these days and avoid reverting to my ‘good ol’ habbits’ I spent Easter in Paros for the first time. For the first time, that is, in Greece away from Corfu. Anyone that knows me well understands that this is quite a strange thing to do, since I could easily be called a Corfiot Easter ‘fanatic’. Of course I missed home and how we do Easter there, but I was equally curious and excited to experience a more “Orthodox” Easter that is celebrated in the place I now live.

With Easter week over but the Easter feel still in the air, I can say that in both places – Corfu & Paros – it is a beautiful coming together of the community to remember its heritage and celebrate life. It is a festivity that feasts in spring to spread an ethereal optimism.

At Paros I went to watch the main easter do’s at the Ekatontapiliani Church in Parikia (a literal translation in English would be: the Church of a Hundred Doors), a breathtaking monument. The site was originally an ancient temple and a roman gymnasium. In the 4th century AD the Byzantine Emperor Constantine built in its place this Christian church following his mother’s (St. Helen) will. A couple of centuries later, Emperor Justinian restored and enlarged the original structure. It has been operating as a Christian church ever since, that is for a bit more than 1700 years. The architectural style is pure and original byzantine and most of its building materials are a re-use of the ancient pieces of parian marble found on site. In other words, you can read great parts of the history of Paros and of the eastern mediterranean just by sitting there.

So, although my ‘default’ enjoyment of Easter celebrations is heavily, if not exclusively, based on the music and spring colors of Corfu, this too was a beautiful yet very different experience. Easter on Paros is a more obvious religious event than I would fancy these festivities to be  and visiting the church during the various easter services didn’t make of me a bearer of hope and light in any religious or dogmatic sense. But I was moved and excited these days by the overall community feel, the beauty of the Ekatontalypiani, the naturalness in everybody’s behaviour in engaging with the rituals, the blossoming of the island, the brightness of the Aegean light and the force of its winds; a combination of elements that created a very specific environment for friends to meet. So I may not have felt any sort of metaphysical transcendence, but I was definitely reminded that symbols and rituals make it easier for us to mark and live the extraordinary.

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