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Culture & Tradition in Corsica

Before leaving for a stay in your villa of luxury in Corsica, and to better appreciate your holidays on the island of beauty, it seems judicious to learn about the Corsican traditions. This magnificent island with authentic charm has a very rich and picturesque culture, which you must know before you leave, in order to make the most of your stay.

Villanovo have created for you a guide bringing together all the traditions, each one more interesting than the others.

Culture & Tradition in Corsica - Corsica

The Corsican language

70% of the population can speak the Corsican language, which would have its roots in the Italian language. It has been recognised since 1974 as a regional language and is even taught in the University of Corte.

Thus, it is appreciated to know a few words of this Mediterranean language. Do not hesitate to consult our guide on expressions useful to know in Corsica.

Corsican music

It is recognised throughout the world, as the Corsican songs are full of character and charm.
The important thing in these fields is the voice. They deal with all the themes, whether happy or unhappy, songs of soldiers or wedding songs and are transmitted from generation to generation.
The most famous songs are polyphonic songs that are traditionally sung at village festivals, religious processions or for a serenade.

The singers can be up to ten but only three voices are enough to make a polyphonic song.

Religion in Corsica

Corsica is very Christian, because of the ancestral rites that marked its past. The Corsicans give particular importance to the Saints, notably the patron saints of the villages but also the patron saint of the island of beauty.

Thus, this devotion is reflected in many religious festivals and in particular the Assumption which takes place on August 15 and which is a national holiday.

Among the celebrations that come out of the common and which are part of the Corsican culture, you will find the night of Good Friday in Sartène.

The men of the village dispute the honour of carrying the cross of 37kg over several kilometres. The candidate is chosen years in advance and only the priest knows his name. On Good Friday, the penitent will have to wear the cross, dressed in a red hood, knowing that one of his feet is hampered by heavy chains to represent the torture of Christ.

The Origin of the Corsican Flag

The flag represents a left profile of a Moor, wearing a white bandana. Previously, the bandana covered the eyes of the Moor but General Paoli decided to raise it on the forehead to symbolise the freedom of Corsica.

The history of the flag is directly related to the history of the island. Before being attached to the Kingdom of France, the island belonged to the republic of Genoa. In 1755, General Paoli wished to proclaim the independence of Corsica as a nation in its own right. The famous flag at the head of Maure was adopted in 1762 as the official flag of the Corsican republic.

But this period of independence was of short duration. In 1778, France bought Corsica from the republic of Genoa, incapable of managing the insurrection. From 1779 onwards, the flag was virtually banned. Later, with the creation of the Anglo-Corsican kingdom in 1794, Corsica experienced a second period of independence. But at that time the flag at the head of the Moor had fallen into oblivion. It was not until 1980 that it was finally rehabilitated as a regional flag.

The head of Maure is the symbol of Corsica since the time when the kingdom of Aragon dominated the Mediterranean islands. Another legend tells that the origin of the Corsican flag dates from the time of the invasion of the island by the Saracens. To impress and repel their adversaries, the Corsican soldiers would have beheaded their enemies and presented their heads impaled on pikes.

The head of the Moor would then become the symbol of the victory of the Corsican warriors, before becoming a national symbol.

Do not hesitate to consult our guide on the history of Corsica if you want to know more about the past of this sublime island.

Discover our selection of luxury villas for your next trip Corsica

Villa Lune

4 Bedrooms

Villa Zinna

6 Bedrooms