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

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.


Donald Trump no fan of ‘Borat’ creator Sacha Baron Cohen

Updated 24 October 2020

Donald Trump no fan of ‘Borat’ creator Sacha Baron Cohen

  • Word of Baron Cohen’s latest outrageous ambushes on unsuspecting participants had spread like wildfire

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE: Donald Trump said Friday he has not been a fan of Sacha Baron Cohen – even before a clip from the British comedian’s new Borat movie forced the US president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani into an awkward explanation.
Asked about the clip – which shows Giuliani in a faked “interview” with an attractive and flirtatious young woman – while speaking to journalists aboard Air Force One, Trump said: “I don’t know what happened.”
“But years ago, you know, he tried to scam me. And I was the only one who said no way. That’s a phony guy. And I don’t find him funny.”
Trump said the incident happened about 15 years ago.
“To me, he was a creep,” Trump said.
The president did not provide further details about that encounter, but in a 2003 interview, Baron Cohen – playing the wannabe gangster Ali G – pitched a business venture to Trump: special gloves for eating ice cream.
Before the new Borat film’s release, word of Baron Cohen’s latest outrageous ambushes on unsuspecting participants had spread like wildfire.
On Wednesday, Giuliani issued an angry denial over the fake interview.
In the film, the encounter appears to leave the 76-year-old former New York mayor in a compromising situation, caught with his hands down his pants in the bedroom.
Giuliani said the scene was “a complete fabrication.”
“I was tucking in my shirt after taking off the recording equipment. At no time before, during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate,” he tweeted.
“If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise, he is a stone-cold liar.”
The comedian continued to poke fun at Giuliani.
In a video posted on social media, Borat himself leapt to his defense and accused the “fake news media” – a term often used by Trump and his supporters – of turning an “innocent” encounter into “something disgusting.”