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GreekReporter.comGreeceThousands Defy COVID Restrictions for Botides, Corfu's Easter Tradition

Thousands Defy COVID Restrictions for Botides, Corfu’s Easter Tradition

The tradition of Botides is held on Corfu. Credit: Bett / Wikimedia Commons –CC0

The Greek island of Corfu kept the Holy Saturday tradition of botides alive for yet another year in 2021, despite the lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The event place took place in the picturesque Spianada Square on Saturday. The celebrations took place without any fanfare, as fewer locals participated in what has become an iconic tradition for Greek Easter.

Thousands of people defied the coronavirus restrictions and gathered to see the spectacle. Scenes from the island show thousands of people being crowded in what seems to be a direct violation of the social-distancing measures that are still in place.

Α crowd-free event had happened one year ago, during the first Coronavirus lockdown in Greece of 2020. Then, people were not even able to attend the services of the Church, as Greece was dealing with the unknown -back then- novel Coronavirus.

The Botides Tradition

Just a few individuals, as well as photographers and reporters, gathered on Saturday, May 1 to record the iconic tradition. People also went on the streets of the beautiful Ionian island to observe the festivities, however, without any crowds being allowed to gather.

It is noted that people in Greece are allowed to go outside only if they send an SMS to the authorities in order to get permission for their outdoor activities.

The tradition is that every Holy Saturday at 12 o’clock in the afternoon Corfiots who have decorated their windows with red flowers and badges, throw huge clay pots filled with red ribbons from their windows.

The symbolism is to create an “earthquake” that is like the one that occurred following the resurrection of Jesus Christ from his tomb. The botides crash on the road with a loud bang. The loud sound, as well as the water and laurel, are supposed to scare “evil” away, something much desired by everyone during this unprecedented crisis.

Corfiot Easter With… Playmobil

Botides playmobil
The playmobil creations of Dina Konti. Video frame from ERT video on Youtube

Corfu may be deprived of the special events for the celebration of Easter that used to attract tens of thousands of visitors every year, nevertheless, the imagination and creativity of the islanders did not cease to create new surprises.

Dina Kouri, a pharmacist from Corfu, created an entire ”army” of Corfiot Easter traditions, using the beloved Playmobil!

The Corfu Philharmonic Orchestra as well as other instances of the customs of Holy Week are now being revived through the little people who dressed in the colors of the island’s music clubs.

People loved the creations of the woman, that she was urged to transfer them from her business to the historic center of Corfu town, so that everyone could see them!

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