The multicultural and distant past of Crete is reflected in all aspects of modern Cretan people, such as language, dance, music, food, arts and crafts. Folk tradition of Crete constitutes an inexhaustible contemporary cultural entity with customs, materials, spiritual features and ancient habits that have formed the core of the modern Cretan life over the years.
Cretan music is considered the most vibrant in Greece, because it not only it continues to evolve and incorporate creative contemporary musical features, but it also manages to express modern reality.
The most famous celebrations are the festivals to honor the saint-protector of each village. In all the regional districts of Crete, each village celebrates its saints with music, food and traditional Cretan dancing. Most festivals take place during the summer months, culminating in mid-August, when hundreds of festivals take place simultaneously across the whole island.
The following religious feasts and celebrations are taking place in Chania regional unit.
Agios Ioannis Sfakion, St John’s Feast, May 8th: Traditional festival of Sfakia.
Azogyre, The Holy Fathers’Feast, October 7th: In the beautiful village with the visitable impressive cave of the Holy Fathers.
Aradaina, Archangel Michael’s Day, November 8th: Directly above the impressive gorge of Aradaina, in the deserted but beautiful village.
Asi Gonia, St. George’s Day, April 23rd or after Easter Day: A big festival. All the shepherds of the area bring their animals to the mass in order to be blessed, then they milk them and distribute the milk to the pilgrims.
Elos, Agios Dikaios,May 6th: Extraordinary view and a unique fair.
Therisso, Assumption of the Mother of God, August 15th: In the beautiful village where Eleftherios Venizelos declared the revolution of 1905.
Kandanos, the Ascension of Christ (1)
Koustogerago, St Catherine, November 25th: High over Koustogerago with majestic view to the fair which is also to commemorate the rescue of the rebels that were hiding themselves from the Germans in a cave there.
Lissos, St Kyrikos, July 15th: The pilgrims start arriving ancient Lissos on foot or in boats from Sougiaγια early in the afternoon of the previous day. A real fair of Selino in a mythical place.
Paleochora, Annunciation of the Mother of God, March 25th: Many musical instruments and happy atmoshereσ’ The entire Paleochora, in the beginning of spring.
Sembronas, Apopigadi, St. John’s, June 24th: One of the feasts, that take place on a very high location, with an incredible view.
Sougia, Harey, St. Antony 1-2 of July: Unique traditional fair at the seaside small church which is situated in Harey. The route on foot from through the E4 path that lead from Sougia to Agia Roumeli lasts two hours with the unique background of the Lybian sea and piney slopes. It is possible to go there also by boat from Sougia. Overnight stay outdoor.
Strovles, Holy Ghost’s (2)
Sfakia, Thymiani Panagia, last Sunday of May.
Chrysoskalitissa, the Assumption of the Virgin, August 15th: At the beautiful monastery, which is a real «balcony» to the Lybian Sea a famous festival takes place.
Frangokastello, St. Nikitas, September 15th: Big festival during which riding races take place.
Floria, Michael Archangel’s, November 8th: Small traditional festival.
Other excellent festivals, by date, are the following:
August 6th, the Transfiguration: Ksirosterni, Tzitzife, Karres of Kissamos, Sassalo
August 15the the Assymption of the Virgin: Voulgaro Panagia of the Summit, Kolympari Gonia, Pemonia, Fre, Eksopolis, Litsarda, Alikampo, Kefala, Kalikrati, Koustogerago
August 29th, John the Precursor’s: Rodopou Gionas, Douliana, Stylos, Kournas
September 8th, το Birth of the Mother of Christ: Gavalohori, Tzitzife, Sassalo
September 14th, Feast of the Holy Cross: Nippos, Rodovani
September 15th St. Nikitas: Kampia
(1) The feast has no date, because it is «movable» – 40 days after the Orthodox Easter
(2) The feast has no date because it is «movable» – 50 days after the Orthodox Easter
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