We are here to give a little tip to spend a different kind of Easter and away from the main tourism “classic” locations that you normally think of when you are planning a vacation. Very easy to reach thanks to the ferries, here comes to rescue you Corsica!
For a fairly unusual Easter we suggest you to go to Corsica. Probably very few people would come up with this idea, but Corsica is an island touristically interesting (easily reached by ferry). For further infos have a look here http://www.ok-ferry.com/en/corsica-ferries.aspx.
Corsica is very nice to visit and explore. Easter in Corsica, then, takes on particular connotations, which make it even more beautiful and full of charm and mystery: in a few words you got to get here!.
You’ll be certainly wondering what to do at Easter in Corsica. This question can be answered by pointing out that the rites of Holy Week and all the traditions associated with Easter are really very charming and interesting, not only from a particular religious point of view but also from the “folk” viewpoint. Also, another point in favour of this destination is the fact that Spring is definitely the best season to visit the island.
We see, then, what could be a route on the island to do during the days of Easter. During the period immediately prior to Easter, on the preparations for the celebrations Easter you will enjoy most: in this period of time, throughout the island, from north to south, many events take place which have their roots in the deepest Catholic tradition. Here Easter is very heartfelt and very celebrated and you can tell by the fact that all the villages of the island are active and transformed: it is like stepping back in time, including processions, traditional dishes, celebrations and more. From north to south, the island is hit by a wave of celebration.
What are the Easter processions in Corsica? As said, the whole island is mobilized, but we must emphasize, the south area are full of emotions and more suggestive. One of the must-see events takes place in Sartene, where still resists, from the thirteenth century, the tradition of U Catenacciu, that is the one that closes the chains. This event commemorates the ordeal of Jesus and has been repeated for centuries and centuries, every Friday. The theatre of it all is the centre of the country, which includes the procession of candles and lights that accompany a penitent carries a cross of almost 40 pounds and a chain of 17 foot pounds. All this is very impressive and takes place within a distance of less than 2 km away.
Even the procession of Gargèse is very interesting: here mysticism and revival come together and offer unique emotions. Here too, Good Friday is the day appointed to penance: the village church is turned off and you start singing of dirges in memory of Christ’s passion. On Holy Saturday, then, the church is turned back on and at midnight a part singing Greek orthodox songs is very moving and very nice to listen to. Also the tradition of Holy Monday, Easter Monday, is worthy to check: another procession brings the patron saint to the four cardinal points. To take part in this procession, join the brotherhoods of Catholic and Orthodox Churches. It is a nice get-together.
Moving instead towards Bonifacio other processions are very interesting, where also relics and statues of patron saints are carried through the streets of the country. In Bastia, however, the procession following the Good Friday procession starts from the morning and walk through the nearby villages, singing and praising. During this parade, the houses of the villages are lit with candles on the edges of the windows and people comes together, forming a sort of protection for the procession. Similar events are found everywhere on the island: the procession of Calvi in Balagne and Granitola are very impressive and have their roots in a very remote past that lives on in a big way.
But, we have to emphasize this very well, Corsica is not just spirituality. During the Easter celebrations, in fact, not only live religiosity, although the latter has a very important role, but there are also culinary traditions Easter which can not be taken into consideration.
Spend Easter in Corsica also means to taste the typical dishes and the latter are really many and all very interesting. For this reason we suggest you to take a leap into the culinary tradition of Corsica. The soup of chickpeas with garlic, the lasagna to broccio, cod soup with beans have always been the traditional dishes of Good Friday. But there are also many other recipes Easter worth to taste. Some examples? The Fritelli and panzarotti, which are based on chickpea flour and prepared as in centuries past, roast goat and lamb sauce is seasoned with which the handmade pasta, stews, soups and more.
Photo CC-BY-SA by Guy Gorek
But even the traditional Easter cakes are very interesting. One of the specialties that you do in Corsica is a crown of sweet bread flavored with anise, to which we add the boiled eggs, which can not be eaten during the 40 days of Lent. Therefore, this cake, which in some areas takes the form of the bell, marking the end of the Lenten season and the coming of Easter. Eggs are also a symbol of Easter, just like here in our country. Their meaning is well known and is now a steady tradition. Children and adults undertake to paint the eggs with various decorations and more eggs are also the basis of the Easter Monday picnic, which is a tradition rooted in Corsica.
Visit Corsica during Easter is one of the best idea ever, because it is a period that allows you to know both the beauty of the area that the traditional ones. A must for all those who feel very Easter, but also for those who are fascinated by the island and its folklore.