Folk songs and dances, as a rule the products of oral tradition, are linked to expressions of a public character: Easter Sunday, the carnival weeks, annual religious festivals, weddings and christenings. The usual dance form is that of the open circle, with roots in ancient Greek worship customs at circular threshing floors. Corfiot dances are typically light and airy, in a fast rhythm, with a pronounced lyrical element. Some are circular, others danced in twos and threes, with the dancers holding onto one another with brightly colored kerchiefs. A typical band line-up would be violin, guitar and accordion.

Annual festivals (panygeria), once a major event in the annual calendar of a village, usually take place on the saint’s day to whom the local church is dedicated, and indeed in the churchyard itself on many occasions. Festiv¬ities start after Vespers, continue through the night and continue into the next day. Lambs roast on spits, street vendors ply their wares, and people dance into the small hours of the morning in their Sunday best. The greatest festivals, as everywhere in Greece, take place on 15 August, day of the As¬sumption of the Virgin. Dozens of churches and monasteries dedicated to the Holy Virgin celebrate on that day. It has been suggested that the more distant a church is from urban centers, the more beautiful the celebrations are, usually in the shadow beneath centuries-old olive trees.

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