Easter in Corfu – Marching bands, vivid street celebrations, flower-filled mountain strolls, and church services of both solemn contemplation and eternal optimism. And all with the promise of delicious food and springtime joy. From Corfu and Paxoi, down to Lefkada, Ithaca, and Kefalonia, and of course Zakynthos to the south, Greece’s the Ionian Islands come into their own each Easter when the country’s most important celebration unfolds with color and individuality.
Marching to their own drummer
This year, Orthodox Easter falls on May 1, with spring in full swing. What better a setting, therefore, to experience the sounds and sights of no fewer than 27 marching bands that parade each year across almost all the islands of the Ionian?
Without a doubt, pride of place is reserved for Corfu, whose 19 bands give the island a unique musical identity.
The procession of the epitaph, a signature event of Good Friday to commemorate the Passion of Christ throughout Greece, is made all the more memorable by three Corfiot philharmonic bands accompanying parades.
The island’s oldest and most renowned band performs Albinoni’s Adagio while the Blue Band supplies Verdi’s Marcia Funebre and the Orange Band Mariani’s Suentura. Mournful, yes, but also furnished with blessings of springtime, with seasonal flowers gathered to adorn the epitaph.