Around Easter visitors from all over the world arrive on the island of Corfu, which stands out for the sounds of the Philharmonic Orchestras, the lights of the famous Liston Street and the shades of purple that one can notice in many the flowers around the island. Nature is in perfect harmony with the atmosphere of the Holy Week and the true meaning of the Easter’s customs.

On the morning of Holy Saturday with the signal of the first Resurrection at 11 o’clock, the bells of all the churches of the old town ring joyfully and the inhabitants throw their clay pots “botides” out of their windows or balconies.

These earthenware utensils are often full of water with a narrow edge and some have handles on the side also can vary in size, and decorations with some having ribbons on them. As soon as the breaking of the “botides” is over, the Philharmonic Orchestras make their parade to the streets of the city playing the cheerful march “Do not be afraid Greeks”.

The breaking of these clay pots is a custom that is celebrated only in Corfu island and has its roots in the years of the Venetian occupation of the island, where on  the New Year’s Eve the Katholic Venetians used to break their old pitchers, so as the new year would bring them some new. The Orthodoxs of Corfu continued the custom transfering it to Easter period.

The breaking of the clay pots symbolizes the removal of misfortune, which is why even today, pieces of broken "botides" are collected and placed in homes to bring good luck and prosperity.

How to make your own traditional "Boti" step by step:

-We paint the ceramic utensil with the varnish (usually in red shade)

-After letting it dry for about two hours

-Complete the process by using with a polyurethane varnish (preferably colorless).

– Let it dry for 24 hours until it is safe to touch it.

To write on the ceramic utensil you can use acrylic paint or alternatively indelible marker

* You can add ribbons

* Decorative flowers or decorative ladybugs with glue

* You can add designs with the decoupage method.

For all of you who are far from the island or it is difficult to get your utensils, we have some more suggestions!

The “botides” in the pictures are made  of water and clay,  alternatively you can always make designs on a tile or any utensil made of clay.

Special thanks to Aristi Kontou and Katerina Megalogeni from the “Irini” Women’s Charity Association of Agios Mattheos for the wonderful photos and all the information they gave us.

Text Editor: Marlia Makri
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