Greeks are always in the mood for a celebration and their Calendar is always packed with different festivals all year round. Most Islands in Greece have their own ‘panigyria’ which means celebrations where residents turn out en masse to celebrate. Here are the best traditional festivals in Greece.
Orthodox Easter is the biggest and most anticipated event in the whole of Greece every year. The whole country comes alive with candlelight and beautiful fireworks. The Holy Week is marked by numerous events every day starting with the St. Lazarus’ day. The festivities continue till Easter Sunday Celebration.
Matala Beach Festival, Crete
This festival is held every June in Crete and it welcomes a huge crowd of music lovers every summer. It is usually organized at the Matala beach where the partygoers lived in the 1960s. The line of activities that are organized in this place are always a blast.
Athens and Epidaurus Festival
Athens and Epidaurus Festival takes place every June in different venues across Athens and Epidaurus. The Festival is the annual event held to celebrate arts and mark the beginning of summer in the Greek calendar. It usually witnesses the presence of celebrities like thespians, dancers, and musicians from all over the world.
The island of Hydra comes to a standstill for three days during the celebration of the festival to honor the War of Independence patron, Admiral Andreas Miaoulis. It is usually celebrated on the day he defeated the Ottoman in 1824. It is usually celebrated with a lot of fireworks.
Naflio in Peloponnese is the region with the oldest classical festival of music in Greece. It features performances that are led by international and local Greek musicians. The most remarkable event in this festival is the jazz event at the Palamidi Castle.
Festival of the Aegean
Festival of the Aegean takes place in Syros. It is usually held at the stunning refurbished Apollo theatre in Ermoupolis. It features a fortnight of choral and opera music led by local and international performers. It takes place in the month of July every year.
Kalamata International Dance
This event is organized at the city of Kalamata. This event lasts for over ten days and it has become one of the most popular festivals around the Mediterranean region.
Molyvos Music Festival
Molyvos Music Festival is usually held every August in the village of Molyvos in Lesvos. The thematic festival is alternated every year to honor soloists in the classical genre of music. It explores different types of compositions and repertoire.
Thessaloniki International Film Festival
The annual film festival at Thessaloniki is one of the most spectacular festivals in the Southern region of Europe. The festival which is held every August transforms the beautiful city into a medieval city.
Athens Authentic Marathon
The Authentic Marathon at Athens is an annual festival held in November. It is usually organized in honor of Pheidippides, a runner who ran 26 miles to Athens to deliver a message about the defeat of Persia in 490BC.