.:Local Life and Events

There is always something to do

Greeks are allowed to be irreverent at Carnivals before the Christian period of LentIndependence Day celebrations

A full calendar

Although there are cities and larger towns in the Peloponnese most people live in small towns and villages and for the vast majority of the people it is still a very rural way of life. A sense of community is very evident and the people are warm, welcoming and generous. Greece is steeped in traditional customs and they celebrate national holidays enthusiastically. Name days*, weddings and funerals all have great significance and national holidays such as Independence Day are celebrated with style.

(*Name days are celebrated in Greece and not birthdays. As many children are named after saints their name day will be celebrated on the feast day of that particular saint.)

Photos from the Koroni Carnival & Independence Day celebrations.

January

New Year's Day - St Basil the Great
Feast of Epiphany - In the Greek Orthodox Church this commemorates the baptism of Christ and not the coming of the Magi.
St John the Baptist

February

'Carnival' - a celebration over three weeks prior to Lent culminating in most large towns having a carnival parade.

Kathera Devtera - 'Clean Monday' - the first day of Lent.
Although now in Lent the day is still festive in nature and local families go to the countryside to eat simple Lenten picnics and the major pastime is kite-flying.

(NB Both the dates of Carnival and Clean Monday vary according to the date of Easter)

March

The celebration of the beginning of the revolution of 1821 on March 23 in Kalamata.

Independence Day - a National Holiday Schoolchildren parade in costume and there is traditional dancing in the towns squares.

April

Easter - variable dates (NB does not necessarily coincide with UK and rest of Europe!)

This is the major religious festival in Greece and is celebrated in style

May

May 1 - May Day and also Spring Festival. A national holiday

June

St Peter and St Paul plus Day of the twelve Apostles

July

St Elijah Many churches - usually on hilltops - are named after St Elijah

Festival in honour of Tellos Agras in July in Gargaliani.

July

The Kalamata International Dance festival

August

Most Greeks go on holiday in this month and resorts are very busy. Assumption Day - a very big national holiday The Festival of Panagia this day in Kardamyli and Koroni.

September

The Virgin Mary's Birthday pluis Elevation of the Cross - an important feast day.

The Carnival and the six-day Bazaar in September in Meligalas and Messini

October

The celebration of the anniversary of the sea fight of Navarino in Pylos.

Oct 28 Οχι Day ('No' Day) - A annual national holiday. In 1940 General Metaxas said 'No' to the demands of Mussolini that Italian troops should have a right of passage through Greece. In the subsequent fighting the Greek army heavily defeated the Italians.

November

St Michael and St Gabriel plus Presentation of the Virgin Mary Nov 30 - St Andrew

December

St Nicholas - not the Greek Father Christmas that is St Basil. Dec 25 - Christmas Day ! Dec 26 - Public Holiday