Corfu

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The individuality of the Corfiot cultural heritage, the social mores, customs and traditions, are due to the influence of the elements of the Western Civilization on the local Hellenic cultural tradition. The Corfiot, a devoted tradition-adorer up to the point of exaggeration, who emigrates with great reluctance because s/he loves deeply her/his homeland, participates actively in the preservation and the perpetuation of the Corfiot customs, which reach our times unalterable, proving this way the multicultural character of Corfu.

The deep religious devotion of the Corfiot is the key element for the continuation of the traditions and customs that concern the religious worship. Since the early days of the Venetian rule the religious ceremonies of both dogmas (Catholic and Orthodox) in Corfu presented the Venetian magnificence and the Byzantine devoutness.

The litanies of the shrines of St. Spyridon and of St. Theodora of Avgoustas, the unique ceremonies of the Corfiot Easter with the Epitaphs and the several other customs, the many religious festivals in the city, the suburbs and the countryside, where the devotees participate with religious reverence, testify the uninterrupted relation of the present-day Corfiot traditions with those of the distant past.

The continuation of the folkloric traditions and customs of the island through the many local events and the several art festivals (music, dance, etc) which take place all around the year, is assisted by the preservation of the costumery elements (Corfiot folklore dresses), folklore songs and gastronomical traditions.

In this way many customs reach our days, like those of Christmas and New-year's Day, those of Epiphany and Ash-Monday, those of Easter, St. John's Day, Transfiguration of the Lord, and the Assumption of Virgin Mary. The traditional Corfiot pottery holds a prominent position and continues its years-old route until today, together with the local stone-curving, wood-curving, weaving, gold-embroidery, and popular architecture. Until today in the Corfiot countryside survive customs of the grape-harvest, the olive-collection and marriage, are interlaced with the Corfiot folklore songs and dances, and the local polyphonic melody.

One of the most important places in the local tradition is reserved for the unique Corfiot Carnival, which preserves, until today, many elements from the ancient Greek Dionysian-Satirical tradition enriched with the recreational customs and habits of the Venetians since the times they were rulers of the island.

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