At the dawn of Holy Saturday (6:00am), the artificial “earthquake” custom is observed at the church of the Virgin Mary of “Xenon”, where church-goers stamp their feet on the floor of the church, as a reenactment of the earthquake that is described in the Gospel as a consequential triumphal event of the Resurrection of Christ. Three hours later, the procession of the holy relics of St. Spyridon begins, at the same time as the procession of the chapel’s Epitaph.
Following this is the breaking of the pots (clay bowls). From the windows and balconies of the houses, thousands of clay pots of all sizes, full of water, are dropped on the streets, smashing noisily. Multitudes of people gather on the streets to watch the event. It is considered to be good luck for a visitor to take a piece of a shattered pot.
The Resurrection service on the night of Holy Saturday occurs at Spaniada Square with the participation of thousands of “believers”. If you have the good fortune of being able to watch the ritual from somewhere up high (i.e. from a building in the neighbouring square), you will have the privilege of beholding an amazing sight: thousands of small, trembling flames light up the entire square and the streets surrounding it, and the fireworks being set off from the citadel marking the Resurrection of Christ create an exciting display.
In the echoing din, the band begins its ceremonial hymns, canons sound from the old citadel, fireworks light up the sky and the bells ring out creating a scene reminiscent of a Hollywood movie. This is a truly magical scene which cannot be understood unless you experience it.
The celebrations at Easter on Corfu provide a completely different experience compared to the rest of Greece and is an unprecedented experience for visitors to the island. This can only be the case for a celebration created by so many: the Greek Orthodox religion, pagan tradition, the presence of St. Spyridon, the Catholic Community, the Venetian influence, the well-known Corfiot humour, the music of numerous philharmonic orchestras and the spring air.