Feasts in Greece is the most representative way to discover the soul of each place. Litanies with godliness, folk shows in the prime church of the village or chapels, traditional cooking and food among plane trees. Let’s describe some of our favorites
The feast of the 15th of August in Alonissos is somewhat different from classical. An interesting revival of old wedding customs is taking place, where guests have the role of relatives, the bride wears a traditional dress (mork) and goes to the church accompanied by the groom, best man and the guests accompanied with the sounds of lute, violin and clarinet. After the ceremony, they eat goat with macaroni, wine and traditional handmade sweets. The feast last up the to the morning hours.
The feast of Messiah on the 6th of August in Amorgos, considered as one of the most considerable in Cyclades. In the central square of Chora, in “Losa” as locals call it, roasted raki, fried cod, salads and fried smelt while Aegean music sounds to the open sea until the morning.The Assumption feast staged in Panagia Panochoriani with drinking Amorgian rakomelo, patatato, vinegar and of course dances and songs.
From side to side of Andros locals have fun with tsabounes (local instrument) dance and songs in their festivals up to the autumn. In the religious festivals, the midday in the courtyard of church, they offer roasted meat, pumpinpeaks (kolokithokorfades), pastitsio, foyrtalia ( omelet),sausages, marzipans and Scallops ( skatsounia). The feasts of the 15th of August are many and picturesque. Some of them are in Pano Katakilos, the Panahrantos Monastery in Korthi, Kaprias, Kochylos, Mesaria, Ypsilou, Strathories and Chora in a chapel on the rock in the sea. On the rock at the entrance of the island there is the feast of Panayia Thalassini where you can taste traditional Andriotic scrambled eggs and local Souma (a traditional spirit) while violins play as sunrise.
The 3 Day feast in the name of Panayia Portaitissa since 1972 is the largest festival of the island. On the precinct of the church named Rodia, under the sounds of violin and lyre, with traditional dances, locals start the fiesta from the evening, after Esperinos ( the afternoon ceremony in the church). One day before, Astypalaians cook and offer to the visitors local titbit and stuffed lamb,
The rituals of the festivals in Thassos are almost the same everywhere. After the Divine Liturgy, the faithful are gathered in the courtyard of the temple, where the Tourbani (browned meat) is prepared from the morning in large cauldrons outside the temple and accompanied by groats or pasta, is shared free of charge. Then, they gathered in groups and dine in an atmosphere ofjoy and celebration. The 15th of August in Thassos is also known as “Easter in the summer”. It is celebrated in Panagia at Rachoni, at the Panagouda Monastery in Maries,in Potos and Panagia Thassos.
The festivals in Ikaria are an experience! They are taking place only when a saint’s feast is under occasion, but also for a “sacred” purpose: for the honor and good of the island, for the purchase of an ambulance or for a fellow-villager. The Icarians, are well educated in fund raising, organize a feast and share their sources ( food, wine, music) At many festivals and weddings, you find a pilaf boiling in the tomato goat’s broth, while roast goats, roasted
peppers and french fries are also served in huge quantities. The fifteenth-century two are the most famous festivals: what is happening in Gialiskari, but mainly a festival of Lagada, with visitors tirelessly climbing the dance until the morning.
In the island of sponge divers on 14 and 15 of August the feast has a total ecclesiastic character, with the most of temples in differest spots on the island to festive in honor of the ascent of the Virgin Mary into heaven. Overnight traditional feast, food, dances and music. The old days in the churches of Kyra Psili, Galatiani and Pserimiotissa, chickpeas were offered on the evening of the evening and after the evening, while they lamented lambs and followed a big feast under the sounds of tamboumen, violin and lute. Nowadays, the supply of chickpeas has been extended to other churches, but almost – with the exception
of Pserimiotissa – the slaughter of lambs has disappeared. The Panagia of Tsakhos (n) was offered after the evening loukoumi and raki, which is done until today.
In every village in Karpathos there is at least one central temple dedicated to its patron saint, whom the Carpathians celebrate with traditional foods, mantinades and dancing. Among the most popular August festivals on the island are those that take place on 6 August in Aperi and Diafani and in Menetes (5-7 August). Afterwards, the feast at the Chrysovalantos Monastery takes place on August 10th at Olympus, while on 15th August celebrates the island with celebrations mainly in the villages of Aperi, Transani, Menetes and Mount Olympus, with traditional dishes and dancing by local people dressed in traditional costumes.
The August feasts in Sait Marina on 6 and 27 August and Pera Panagias on the 15th of August, are some of the most famous Kassos festival that gather the residents and the visitors of the island. The ritual followed is the same for centuries: lyra is playing and local dances like Zervos get started. The food is being prepared by amateur cooks, specializing in celebrations, preparing cassi dumplings, meat roll, pilaf with cinnamon cooked on fire by thyme and wood
The feast of Our Lady is one of the biggest celebrations in the beautiful Corfu. On the Cross of the Municipality of Achilleion, the Stavriotes gather from the eve of the feast in the church, chant the Epitaph Egkomia and in the evening they all eat the “orphan” macaroni. The next is a traditional feast with the best roasts of the island, music bands and dance under the sound of violins. In Karousades and Peroulades there are also festivals.
The residents are keen to keep the traditions alive, organizing every summer local festivals. If you are on the island on the second weekend of August do not miss the wine festival in Mitata, which lasts for two days. You will enjoy plenty of wine from the local producers, accompanied by traditional mezedes and a lot of dancing. The big feast for the feast of Panagia where plenty of food and local wine are offered to the festivals.
On the “island of the winds” there are two special feasts: the Panagia celebration on August 15th and the Enniamere at August23 in the square of Ano Mera in front of the monastery of Panagia Tourliani. The Mykonian festivals orchestra plays the violin, the santuri, the tsabouna and the tambouk. People dance sirto, sousta, balarito and balo, while beside the sighs fans sing with oriental lutes, santuria and accordion. Yours palate is deliciously flavored with blackcurrant, onion, lobster, lollipops, red pepper, lousa (cheese) and codfish.
On the fifteenth of August the feast is set up in every corner of Naxos. Indicatively we mention the villages of Filoti, Apeiranthos, Galini, Engares and Skados where an endless feast is set up with well-known local artists and bands. They also celebrate two of the Monasteries of Naxos, Phaneromeni and Agia in the northwest of the island.
In the various feasts and festivals the locals wear their traditional costumes,men breeches and women embroidered shirts.On the 15th of August, the Monastery of Panagia Spiliani, at the Castle of Mandraki, one of the most famous monasteries of the Aegean islands, attracts many people from all the Dodecanese to the widest festival of the year.The custom wants the so-called “Enniameritises” (nine day women) to arrive from the surrounding islands in the monastery nine days in advance, in order to carry out a special ritual that ends on the Panayia’s day. During the stay, guests are offered chickpeas and potatoes and some meat with potatoes.
The Parians try to keep the traditional sign unvaried and perfom it all year round at the exhibitons of the island. On the fifteenth of August, everyone gathers in Parikia to worship the icon of Panagia Ekatontapyliani and then they enjoy a lot of wine, meze and traditional music. There is also a Pirates feast on August 23. The locals are disguised as pirates, depicting the raid of Barbarossa and his pirates in Naoussa in 1537, where the women of Naoussa were kidnapped and struggled to return them back.
In the heart of August, a three-day feast is celebrated in the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in the village of Panagia, near Chora, which is the oldest of the island. The locals also call it “Xilopanagias Fair” (fighting Mary’s Feast) because the old men give epic fights with oleander branches before they win the first lady for dance. Panagia in Pyrgos on August 16, Panagia of Miliani and Agios Ioannis Prodromos on August 24, Sklavogianni on August 29 are some of the island’s festivals.
At the closest to Athens Cycladic island, Kea or Tzia festivals are happening all over the year. However, if you find yourself on the island on August 8th of Agios Emilianos, you will pass through the feast set in the homonymous chapel at the bay of Koundouros, while on the fifteenth of August you will go to the big feast set up on a steep rock north of the Chora of the island. Panagia Kastriani with a traditional Cycladic potato, plenty of wine and a feast with island music until morning
Boem Folegandros is not famous for its festivities, but what is organized in the church of the Assumption of the Virgin on the fifteenth of August is definitely unique. The scenery includes a huge paved table full of local treats and food that welcomes all visitors to the island accompanied by live traditional music.
In every corner of the Mastiha Island almost every August is a feast. Local people and visitors gather in the squares of the villages and start a feast with plenty of ouzo, wine and melodies, songs and music from local orchestras to dawns. On August 6, the festivals of the Savior are celebrated in Volissos, Yegorogos, Kardamyla, Agios Georgios Sykousis, Vessa, Vassilionikos, Daphnonas, Out of Didima and Pagida. On the fifteenth of August you will not know where to start, since festivals are organized in the villages of Kallimasia, Pyrgi, Nenita, Viki, Coruña, Pitio, Halkio, Volissos, Pipilounta, Kataraktis and Tholopotamis, while the Nine-Day Theotokos at 23 celebrations in the villages Pyrgi, Viki, Milk and Potamia.
If you want to see and be a part of these feasts while making your holidays in the greek islands, please contact Allabouttravel and ask for a quotation. We can assist you in making your arrangements, so that you can immerse to the local culture.