Paleochora

Paleochora

HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

Cretans always love to celebrate. Somewhere there is always one of the many feasts, mostly the name day of a saint, a wedding or a baptism or any political reason. Then in the villages and towns there is a very nice atmosphere, everybody is eating and drinking and at the main square a life-band is playing for hours and hours - and not too quiet.

The most important feast all over Greece is Easter. The Cretans return from all parts of the country and even from all over the world to celebrate this important holiday together with the family. After 49 days Lent at Easter's Saturday night, about one hour before midnight, a divine service is bee held. With the saying Christos anestisi shortly after midnight all believers light a candle, bonfires infront of the church and fire-crackers are been thrown as much as there are. After that families and friends go out for an opulent dinner.

More important holidays and festivals:

April 23: festival of Saint George, one of the most important Saints of the Greek-orthodox church, patron saint of the shepherds and farmers
May 1: springtime festival, garlands of flowers decorate all entrance doors, which will be burned at mid-summer festival
May 20 - 27: memorial celebrations for the Cretan resistance fighters of World War II in the whole Hania-province
June 24: birthday of John the baptiser , mid-summer festival
July 15 -31: big wine festival in the city park of Rethymnon
July 20: day of prophet Elias, to whom are dedicated many churches and chapels, he is also seen as the descendant of the god of sun, Helios
July 27: festival of Saint Panteleimon in Fournes
August 15: holiday of the Panagia, Assumption of the Holy Mother, the most important holiday after Easter
August 29: decapitation of John the baptiser, a 2-days-festival at the peninsula Rodopou (west of Hania)
Oktober 7: festival of the eremite John at the monastery Gouverneto at Akrotiri-peninsula
Oktober 28: Ochi-Day, the Greek National Holiday in memorial of the Greek government's NO (ochi) to Moussolini's order of capitulation in 1940

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