A country rich with history, there’s no doubt that festivals are an important part of the culture when it comes to visiting Greece. Tourists who head out on Greek holidays will be welcome to a glimpse of Greek tradition when they arrive during festival times.
Many of the best destinations in Greece offer experiences that stand out from tours around churches and the beach. Heading to Greece during one of the many exciting festivals will give you a taste and feel for the true culture of this popular destination.
Greece is home to many beautiful Mediterranean islands that provide various festivals and parties year-round, meaning there’s always something to see throughout the year.
The Epiphany is one such festival, which takes place across Greece through various ceremonies. In Greek, the Epiphany is called Phota, and customs take place in January which includes religious worship, dance and a food festival. In Greece, the Epiphany festival takes place all over, from Corfu to Mykonos and Mainland Greece, and is meant to symbolize the day that Jesus was baptised. On this day, priests traditionally throw a crucifix into the water and male worshippers jump in to retrieve it.
In February, Greece lights up with festivals that focus on the Carnival. Patras, in the Peloponnese, is thought to hold the largest Carnival celebration in Greece, with celebrations taking place in February or March on the week before the Greek Orthodox Lent.
Crete hosts their own smaller Carnival celebration as well, and is also host to the Rethymnon Wine Festival, which is sure to guarantee plenty of fun and revelry among attendees. The festival starts at the beginning of July and is a crowd-drawing cultural event.
However, arguably the biggest festival in Greece surrounds the Easter celebrations, which draw out many of Greece’s most religious traditions, the best food and music. The Greek Easter celebrations last over a week, and include intense religious worship as well as great celebrations with lamb, Easter bread and cooked eggs.
In September, the island of Santorini plays host to their annual International Music Festival, which takes place in Thira.
Similar to North America and the rest of Europe, Greece celebrates all that surrounds Christmas in December. Traditional Greek decorations that look like boats appear, and the feast on that day is of great importance.
And outside these main events, there are plenty of small festivals that are unique to each island and culture in Greece. In December, Corfu hosts a festival in honour of the memory of the patron saint Spyridon, and other islands host the annual feast of Agios Georgios.
No matter if you’re exploring the Sporades or Dodecanese Islands, you’re sure to experience some of the excitement when you choose to take your holidays in Greece.
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