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The Festivals of Paros

Year round, but mainly in the summer months, visitors to Paros will have the opportunity to celebrate with the residents of the island at one of many festivals. There are many causes for celebration in a region that knows how to honor Greek customs and traditions in the best possible manner. At times with solemnity and others with boundless enthusiasm, the Parians revive religious traditions in the quaint cobblestone streets of the villages, bringing new perspectives to the celebration, different to those we are accustomed to.
Traditional dishes, with ingredients from both the sea and land, take a starring role. Local wine flows freely, delicacies delight the senses of visitors, and the music unites the hearts and rejoices the souls of everyone in attendance.
Schedule your holiday, even in the heart of winter, to coincide with one of the many festivals of Paros. It will be worth your while.

Summer Festivals

  • 23 June: The day of the well-known Kleidonas festival. It is celebrated with solemnity and fires in Aliki, Naoussa and Prodromos. Music, dance, traditional delicacies and plenty of wine surround the lighting of the bonfire, and the burning of the Mayday wreaths, and the opening of Kleidonas, after which youths and children jump over the fires. According to tradition, this turns away evil spirits.
  • 24 June: Agios Athanasios the Parian in Kostos
  • 30 June: The eve of the festival is celebrated at the monastery of Agion Anargyron, near Parikia.
  • 2 July: Notable events and activities at the renowned Fish and Wine Festival in Naoussa.
  • 16 & 17 July: The festival of Agia Marina in Kostos
  • 17 July: Revival of the Bagpipes in Naoussa.
  • 24 July: Festival of Agia Anna in Parikia.
  • 26 July: Festival of the churches of Agios Panteleimonas in Kostos and Prodromos.
  • 6 August: Festival of Sotiros in Aliki and Marpissa.
  • 15 August: The feast of Panagia on Paros is synonymous with the Ekatontapiliani church. Thousands of devout Christians gather at the temple for the Holy pilgrimage and solemnly attend the events. The ceremonious liturgy is followed by a parade and the procession of the icon through the roads of Parikia. At night, all vessels in the harbor are illuminated and fireworks light up the night sky in an incredible spectacle. Events with traditional music and dance take place on the beach of Parikia.
  • At night, all vessels in the harbor are illuminated and fireworks light up the night sky in an incredible spectacle. Events with traditional music and dance take place on the beach of Parikia.
  • 23 August: The Festival of the Pirates marks the anniversary of the pirate raid on Naoussa, led by Barbarossa in 1537. The legendary pirate's men kidnapped the women of Naoussa and the locals engaged in battle to get them back.
  • 27 August: Festival of Agios Fanourios, with a traditional celebration in Ampelas.
  • 28 & 29 August: Feast of Agios Ioannis Detis, the monastery in the Environmental & Cultural Park. The celebration takes place in Lefkes.

Autumn Festivals

  • Early September: Traditional festival with seafood, wine and souma (local spirit) for the Celebration of the Trata (a type of fishing boat) in Parikia.
  • 8 September: Celebration and feast of Panagia Faneromini church in Marmara.
  • 14 September: Festival to celebrate the Ypsoseos tou Timiou Stavrou (Exaltation of the Holy Cross). A celebratory Divine Liturgy is held in the courtyard of the church in Agairia, and traditional delicacies are offered. Traditional dances and songs from various regions in Greece are presented that night in Aliki.
  • 25 November: The feast of Agia Aikaterini is solemnly celebrated in Lefkes. The Divine Liturgy takes place at the church in the morning, followed by the procession of the icon through the streets of the village. 25 November is also a memorial day for the Resistance of the Greeks against conquerers.

Winter Festivals

  • Epiphany: On 6 January, youths gather at the ports of the traditional villages of the island, and dive into the frozen Aegean water to get the cross (Stavro). Epiphany is celebrated with fanfare and ceremony in both Parikia and Naoussa.
  • Carnival: The feast begins the the costume parties held at the cafés and bars of the island and climaxes with events hosted by island associations and the village carnivals, the largest of which are the ones in Naoussa, Parikia and Marpissa.
  • Clean Monday: If you happen to be on the island on Clean Monday, be sure to visit Aliki and marvel at the flying of the kites. There are both classic kites and handmade ones, that are tradition for the village. The children also make Kyra Sarakosti (Lady of Lent), a cloth doll with seven feet - one for each week of fasting. Lent on Paros also means lagana (flat bread), halvas (sesame cake) and other traditional dishes found in abundance at the festival events on Paros.

Spring Festivals

  • 25 March: The day is celebrated with fanfare on the island that will never forget the events of the national-liberation struggle of 1821. The celebratory Doxologia mass takes place at Ekatontapiliani, while students participate in parades at all villages on Paros.
  • Good Friday: Representations of the Passions in Marpissa.
  • April: Festival of Agios Georgios in Agairia.
  • 8 May: Festival of Agios Ioannis Theologos in Drios.

Events

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