The Analipsi festival is the oldest festival in Arillas. It’s celebrated every year on Ascension day (Analipsi in Greek), the day Jesus rose to heaven, 50 days after Easter. The festival is held in honour of the day in the courtyard of the Arillas church, which is also dedicated to Ascension. The date it’s held is different every year, as Easter also moves, but in general it’s somewhere in May-June.
The previous evening (Ascension eve), a big pot of goat stew in a spicy tomato sauce is prepared and shared with all the villagers. Whatever is left over, is served the next evening at the Paniyiri (festival), along with large amounts of souvlakia, sausages and Corfu Beer! There is a live band playing traditional music, the Arillas Dance club performs traditional dances and then it’s “Choros yia olous”, Dance for everyone!
It’s the festival with the smallest amount of tourists, and that gives it a very special atmosphere. The tourists who are present always enjoy this chance to take part in an authentic Corfiot Paniyiri! A couple of years ago, David of Corfu Films managed to capture this unique atmosphere in a very intimate video: