Feast Day of Saint Spyridon
Every year, on December 12th, Corfu hosts a three-day happening in order to celebrate the memory and extensive work of Saint Spyridon, the patron saint of the island, also known as the Wonderworker, due to his many believed miracles over Corfu!
Saint Spyridon was born in Cyprus in 270 AD and was raised as a shepherd. He was widely known for being devoted to the preachings of Christianity and helping the impoverished. After becoming a bishop in Tremythos (a now-abandoned Cypriot village), he was able to continue and improve his further charity work. The saint perished in 348 AD and, after the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, Saint Spyridon’s remains were moved to Corfu, where the locals believe that his healing powers have protected the island a number of times, most notably during the siege of Corfu in 1716.
On December 11th, Corfiot households prepare large bowls of donuts named Loukoumades t’ Agiou (meaning Saint’s Donuts), a traditional and easy-to-make sweet. That has been a custom since the Venetian Rule. Topped with cinnamon and honey, these dough balls are offered at every corner of Corfu Town during the festivities, usually from salesmen with portable cooking stands!
On top of that, Saint Spyridon’s sacred remains (kept in the Church of Saint Spyridon in the center of Corfu Town) are open for pilgrimage throughout the days of celebration, while the Philharmonic Orchestra of Corfu parades through the narrow alleyways of kantounia! Plus, the feast signals the official start of Christmas celebrations on the island!