Old Easter tradition on the Greek island of Corfu is a smash

People attend the Greek Orthodox Easter tradition of ‘Botides’ on Holy Saturday, an old custom of throwing giant water-filled clay pots off balconies, marking the so-called ‘First Resurrection’ on the island of Corfu, Greece. (Reuters)
Updated 07 April 2018
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Old Easter tradition on the Greek island of Corfu is a smash

Corfu: Orthodox Easter celebrations on the Greek island of Corfu were a smash on Saturday — literally.
Corfiots mark Holy Saturday with a strange old custom referred to as the “botides” — where large clay jugs filled with water are thrown from the balconies of homes in the center of town, smashing into pieces onto the streets below as thousands gather around to watch.
Visitors come from across the country and abroad to view the popular event. The sound of the pots crashing is thunderous, and fearless spectators stand quite close to the crash sites, struck by the spray of water and shards of clay, although local organizers said no one has ever been seriously injured during the custom.
“I am very happy, because people come from far away, and that is why we do this, they like it very much, they have become hooked on the custom,” said Corfu resident Nikos Voskopoulos, who has been an enthusiastic pot-thrower for 20 years.
Islanders said they believe the custom helps ward off bad spirits, and spectators take pieces of the smashed pots home as good luck charms.
The exact origin of the custom is unclear. According to the municipality, one popular belief is that it originated with the Venetians who ruled Corfu between the 14th and 18th centuries. To mark the new year, the Venetians would throw out their old belongings to make way for new ones in order to make a fresh start to the new year.
The Greeks adopted the custom, introduced clay pots, and moved it to Easter, one of the most important holidays in the Greek religious calendar. There are also Biblical references to the smashing of clay pottery, symbolizing the divine striking down enemies.
Another belief is that the custom has roots in ancient Greece. In April the ancient Greeks would throw out their old clay planting pots and plant seeds in new ones to mark the coming of spring.


‘Hunger Games’ prequel book and film planned

Updated 18 June 2019
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‘Hunger Games’ prequel book and film planned

  • The new book will revisit Panem 64 years before the events of the trilogy during a period known as the “Dark Days”
  • Movie studio Lionsgate said another film was already being planned

LOS ANGELES: A new “Hunger Games” novel set decades before the original best-selling trilogy will be published next year, its publisher said Monday, with plans for an accompanying film already under way.
The book will revisit the macabre post-apocalyptic world of Panem created by Suzanne Collins’ young adult novels, which were adapted into one of Hollywood’s biggest movie franchises starring Jennifer Lawrence.
The original books, which sold more than 100 million copies, told the story of Katniss Everdeen, a teenage heroine forced by the realm’s totalitarian leaders to participate in a reality TV-style fight to the death.
The new book will revisit Panem 64 years before the events of the trilogy during a period known as the “Dark Days,” in which the nation “struggles to get back to its feet” after a devastating war, Collins said.
Four films based on the trilogy of novels — the final book was split into two parts — turned Lawrence into an A-list movie star and grossed $2.97 billion worldwide.
Movie studio Lionsgate said another film was already being planned.
“As the proud home of the Hunger Games movies, we can hardly wait for Suzanne’s next book to be published,” said Joe Drake, chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.
“We’ve been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie.”
Author Collins said the book would explore “the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival.”
The as-yet untitled book will be published on May 19, 2020.