Christmas in Corfu Greece can be a magical experience. The town is decorated with million of light bulbs and the festive spirit is everywhere. Christmas is one of the major celebrations of orthodoxy and the phantasmagoric celebration in Corfu is closely interwoven with the Orthodox tradition.
For the Greeks, who in their majority are Orthodox, Christmas is second only to Easter in religious importance and the locals certainly know how to celebrate it in a unique way. Christmas in Corfu island is celebrated on December the 25th. If you are thinking of visiting Corfu during the Christmas period it would probably be better if your accommodation was situated in Corfu town, which remains lively and busy even in the winter months. There you will find everything you need in order to have the best Christmas holiday of your life!
On December the 24th, young children go from house to house to sing carols to the accompaniment of small triangles and drums give rhythm to the song. These songs seem to have their roots in the era of Byzantium. It is customary to give the children some change for the song (1 or 2 euros are sufficient). On Christmas Eve, families in Corfu tend to eat honey with walnuts, dried figs and Christmas cake. On Christmas day there are lots of church services and the day is celebrated with a big feast of turkey stuffed with chestnuts, rice, pine nuts, and a nut cookie called kourabiedes. People with names such as Christos and Christina celebrate their Name Day and they will often hold a big party and receive presents.
Presents are generally exchanged on New Year's Day, instead of Christmas. January 1st, is also St. Basil's Day in Greece, who is the Greek version of Santa Claus. Some families leave a log in the fireplace for St. Basil to step on as he slips down the chimney with a bag of toys. Christmas celebrations end on Epiphany, January 6. On this day, the priests dip crucifixes in the sea and give them the Blessing of the Waters. Crosses are thrown into the sea and the locals dive in the water and race to retrieve them.The lucky one who will catch the cross is said to be blessed and lucky throughout the course of next year.
Traditions aside, there are always a lot of things to do in Corfu town even in the less busy winter days. Eat at one of the many excellent restaurants, have a hot chocolate in the quaint cafes of the Old town, or have a walk on the cobble stone streets and discover the Christmas magic in Corfu Greece!