During Easter week, the residents of Corfu participate in various unique customs and traditions that visitors will only be able to witness on the island. One of these is the breaking of the botides, perhaps the most famous one. The botides are clay jugs with two handles and a narrow neck, filled with water, painted red, and decorated with red ribbons.
At 11:00 on Holy Saturday, to commemorate the First Resurrection, the people throw these jugs out of their windows or balconies, which are also decorated with red cloths, in order to smash them. It is said that breaking the botides drives away bad luck, so locals and visitors alike pick up the pieces and keep them in their houses for the rest of the year. After this procedure is complete, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Corfu marches on the streets playing cheerful music.
According to a theory, this custom comes from the time the island was under Venetian occupation. Venetians used to smash old jugs during New Year’s Day so that the new year would bring them luck and goods. The locals moved the tradition to Easter, as they were only allowed to celebrate during the day.