Christmas is definitely one of the biggest Christian holidays in Corfu and in many parts of Greece.

The atmosphere is extremely festive, with the ornate old town of Corfu and with details that always distinguish the island such as the Venetian influences and the connection of its customs with the Greek Orthodox tradition.

What is always unique in the festivities of Corfu are undoubtedly the Philharmonic Bands, which you will surely meet as visitors to the island as you walk in the old town of Corfu in many festivals of the year and of course at Christmas.

According to tradition, the “Kalanda”, ie the Christmas songs sung mainly by young children accompanied by a metal triangle or musical instruments. The choirs and the philharmonic orchestras that exist in almost every village of the island sound equally melodic and festive.

Tradition says that there are three different songs for each day, the carols of Christmas Eve, the carols of New Year’s Eve and the carols of the eve of the Epiphany.

The smell of  loukoumades, the greek donuts, is characteristic and its all over the corfu old town on December 11 on the eve of St. Spyridon will definately want to try as they are delicious, you will find it in every corner and they are served with honey and cinnamon.

Fogatsa as some call it is another element that shows the Venetian influence in our traditions on the island.
It is usually round in shape and we find it more often during the Easter period, you will also find it in a smaller version called “Colombina”.

The traditional “Jaletia” of Corfu or pancakes of Corfu is an easy recipe with various variations that you can make at home, wherever you are, all year round.

“Jaletia” owe their name to their main ingredient, corn flour and as a word they have Italian origin, as “giallo” means yellow.

One of the most famous Greek traditions regarding sweets, are of course the melomakarona and the kourabiedes which you will find in all the confectioneries and in every friendly house that you can visit.

On Christmas day in Corfu, a traditional festive table always becomes egg-lemon and “French” soup, ie turkey, with chestnuts and pine cones.

Vasilopita is another Christmas sweet in Greece and is associated with St. Basil’s Day on January 1, the same day when people traditionally receive the gifts of Santa Claus.

Suggestions for winter excursions on the island of Corfu.

Wander the mountain villages of Corfu:

Winter in Corfu has several rainy and cold days that are ideal for exploring the most mountainous and traditional villages of the island.

Old Peritheia: Stone houses atmosphere reminiscent of images found in mountain villages of central Greece, this is definitely a great suggestion for your winter trip to the island, although there are many who choose it during the summer months.

Its few traditional taverns will introduce you to the authentic Corfiot recipes.

Agioi Deka: In the southern part of Corfu you will find a picturesque village with cobbled streets and alleys that are worth walking.

The view from above will magnetize you, while the neighboring villages such as the settlement of Korakades are ideal for lovers of walks.

Another interesting route is the one that leads to the village of Lakones with the impressive old stone houses, built during the 19th to 19th century.

As a winter destination, Corfu still has its own unique characteristics that distinguish it, from nature with the green of its vegetation, to the walking routes, the caves, the historic buildings and the beaches that even in winter manage to impress visitors.

At the top of the list of main points of interest will always be the historic old town of Corfu… which shines adorned with its characteristic nobility.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Photography: Alexandros Melidis
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