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Greece Events

 
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The Greece calendar year is a series of festivals and Greece current events, some of which are religious, some cultural, some are Greece historical events others an excuse for a good party. As Greece is a country with a vast wealth of cultural tradition and folklore there are numerous events which give visitors many opportunities to enrich their travels by attending the various cultural or sports events held in every region of the country. Participating in the festivities which are often related with enchanting customs and historic facts provide with a prospect to get familiar with unknown but extremely interesting aspects of Greek folklore heritage. Throughout the year, but especially during summer, hundreds of Greece current events are held and scores of bigger or smaller festivals are being organized.

Below is a list of Greece current events and Greece historical events taking place in the country Greece:

January

  • Feast of St Basil (1st Jan): This is associated with a good start for the New Year. An old Byzantine custom of slicing the Vassilopita (Basilcake or New Year Cake) gives the person who finds the hidden coin in his slice, good luck for the year.
  • Epiphany (6th Jan): It is celebrated throughout Greece when the Blessing of the Waters takes place. A cross is thrown into the sea, lakes or rivers and retrieved by swimmers who are then entitled to good luck. The event is particularly spectacular in Pireaus.

February

  • Carnival season: During the mid February Greece's Carnival Season called Apokrias, begins and which lasts for two weeks. It is similar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans and the festivities are enjoyable in most of the regions of the country.

March

Clean Monday or Katheri Deftera 40 days before Easter marks the first day of lent and it is customary to go out in the country and fly paper kites.
  • March 2nd is observed as the Saint Theodore day.
  • March 19th is the Crysanthos Day.
  • March 25th is the Greek National Anniversary and a major religious holiday with military parades in the larger towns and cities. This celebrates Greece's victory in the war of Independence against the Turks who had occupied the country for 400 years.

April

Easter celebrations begin in April or May. Easter is the most significant festival in Greece, with candle-lit processions, feasting and fireworks displays. Emphasis is placed on the Resurrection rather than on the Crucifixion, so it is a joyous occasion.

  • April 8th in Karpathos in the traditional village of Olymbos there is a celebration known as the Lambri Triti. At Limenaria in Thassos there is a feast with local dancing. In Megara near Athens local women in traditional outfits dance the fishermens Trata.
  • April 23rd is the Feast of Saint George celebrated on Lemnos in the village of Kaliopi with horse races.
  • Saint Thomas name day is celebrated the Sunday after Easter.

May

  • During the month of May there is a folkloric festival at Eleusis near Athens. On the island of Lesvos the month of May holds the Week of Prose and Art with theatrical performances, exhibitions and various cultural and educational events in Molyvos. In Trikala the Hadjipetria Festival which features athletic contests, national dances and lectures takes place around the end of the month.

June

  • International Jazz & Blues Festival: This international takes place in Athens, in June, is welcomed by the theatre of Lycabettus. Lycabettus also welcomes every year with many more events such as music, dances and theatrical performances from the national and international.
  • Miaoulis Festival: The last weekend in June on HYDRA, a celebration of the great admiral Miaoulis, from the war for independence. There are different activities in the town like dance performances, speeches, brass bands etc. The big performance is on Saturday evening.

July

  • Sani Festival: It’s a yearly celebration since 1993, bringing together nationally and internationally acclaimed artists at the Sani Resort. Events such as music concerts, dance performances and painting exhibitions are held in different venues around the Sani Resort from July to September every year.
  • July month also has the Epidavros Festival of Greek Tragedies being held at the little theatre of Epidavros.

August

  • On August 6th is the Transfiguration of Christ and the name day for Sotiris.
  • On August 11th is the day that Saint Spiridon appeared with a lighted torch and scared the Turkish invaders away from the island of Corfu. This day is celebrated as a holiday in Corfu.
  • The day of the Panagia (Virgin Mary) August 15th: This is the second biggest religious holiday after Easter and on the island of Tinos this day is celebrated like on no other. Pilgrims by the thousands come here to crawl on their knees up the steps to the church that holds the holy Icon.

September

  • September is the month for many cultural events and festivals. Anhiolos Wine Festival takes place from the 1st to the 15th. Also in Thessaloniki in September is the International Trade Fair which includes the Song and Film Festival. In Messolongi the Lord Byron Poetry and Art festival is held. In Kos there is a 2 day wine Festival with song and dance. There are Grape festivals in Corinth, Pidni near Katerini, and a wine festival in the village of Ambelona near Larissa. Towards the end of September in Kythira is the festival of the Myrtidiotissa Monastery. In Santorini, the International Music Festival in Thira features well known orchestras, conductors and performers of Classical music.

October

  • The 8th is the celebration of Saint Iganatios at the Limonas monastery in Kaloni, Lesvos
  • The 21st is the name day for Socrates.
  • The 26th is the name day for Saint Dimitris.
  • The 28th is Ochi Day, celebrating the Greek refusal to let Italy occupy the country during WWII. The Italians invaded and were driven back into Albania and nearly back to Italy. There are military parades in the major towns and cities.

November

  • The 17th of November is the anniversary of the student uprising at the Polytechnic University in Athens in 1973. The demonstrations against the military dictatorship gained momentum and was crushed when tanks crashed the gates of the university killing many students. The holiday is celebrated with the annual march and stoning of the American Embassy.

December

  • New Years Eve is spent playing cards with friends on a green card table, while children sing carols and people exchange gifts.
 
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