|For a complete list, contact the
Greek/Hellenic National Tourism Organisation (see Contacts section).
The following is a selection of special events occurring in Greece
Jan Feast of St Basil (the New Year’s
Cake is cut, and the person whose slice contains a coin is said
to have good luck for the coming year), nationwide; The Gynaecocratia
(celebrates matriarchy with men and women reversing roles for
the day), Komotini, Kilkis, Serres and Xanthi.
Jan 6 Epiphany (a cross is thrown into rivers,
seas and lakes as the blessing of the waters takes place), nationwide.
Feb 7 Shrove Monday (the first day of Lent is
welcomed with picnics in the country, kite flying and many other
special celebrations reflecting the local traditions of the villages),
Mar Carnival (a national celebration marked
by pageantry and partying, masked figures, fancy dress, practical
jokes and processions of Carnival chariots), nationwide; Easter
(celebrated with feasts of red-dyed eggs, spit-roasted lamb, and
folk-dancing), nationwide, and especially at Livadia, Metsovo,
Patras, Trapeza and Tripolis.
Mar 25 Independence Day and Feast of the Annunciation
(the anniversary of Greek independence is marked with military
parades in cities and larger towns, with Athens having the most
May Anastenaria (traditional fire-walking ritual),
Serres and Thessaloniki.
May 1 Labour Day and Flower Festival (celebrated
by country picnics), nationwide.
Jun Rally Acropolis (drivers from all over the
world take part in auto race competition), Athens.
Jun 23-26 AthFest (music and arts festival).
Jul International Sailing Regatta, Athens.
Jul-Aug Wine Festivals, Alexandroupolis, Patras,
Daphni and Rethymnon.
Aug Hippokrateia (musical evenings, ancient
drama performances, a flower show and a re-enactment of the Hippocratic
Oct Winter Cultural Season (performances of
ballet, opera and concerts), Greek National Opera House in Athens.
Oct-Nov Demetria Festival (performances in opera,
music, dance, theatre and art), Thessaloniki.
Oct 28 Ochi! Day (commemorates Greece’s
refusal to allow Mussolini’s troops to enter the country),
Nov International Marathon, (retracing the original
marathon route taken by a young warrior in 490 BC to announce
the Athenian win over the invading Persians), Athens.
Dec 6 St Nikolas Day (Christmas celebrations
in Greece begin on this day, when children make their rounds singing
carols, and continue until the end of the year), nationwide.