Greek Traditional Festivals (Panigiria)

In Corfu, August is the month when the village festivals or panigyria in Greek take place. A panegyris (Ancient Greek: πανήγυρις, “gathering”), is an Ancient Greek general, national or religious assembly which was dedicated to the worship of a particular god. Nowadays, it is also associated with saint days and holy festivals. Every week, there are several festivals going on around the island, some larger than others.

Each village celebrates the Saint whom the local church is named after. The celebrations begin with a church service and are followed by a festival with live Greek music, traditional dancing, lots of souvlaki (and retsina!) and of course lamb on the spit.

August Events in Corfu

02/08 – Folklore Festival, Kassiopi

This is a one of a kind festival in Kassiopi, boasting loud Greek music, to which dancers dressed in traditional costumes dance the day and night away. The beautiful Kassiopi harbour provides the perfect setting for the event.

05/08 – Metamorfosi Sotiros

A celebration at the Monastery situated on top of Mount Pantokrator.

10/08 – Varkarola, Palaiokastritsa

Varkarola is a famous festival which takes place every summer in Corfu. This event celebrates the miracle of Saint Spyridon, who saved the island from Turkish invasion on 11th August 1716. This miracle is celebrated with a recreation of a nautical battle. A series of boats parade along Palaiokastritsa bay, while bands play traditional music and dancers showcase Greek dancing. At the end of the Varkarola, a boat is set on fire and a giant fireworks display goes underway to commemorate the burning of the Turkish naval fleet during the 18th century siege.

11/08 – St.Spyridon’s Day

A procession takes place in Corfu Town, in order to commemorate the intervention of St. Spyridon during the Turkish siege of 1716. Processions start around 9 am in Corfu Town and most of the island’s brass bands take part in what is guaranteed to be a lovely spectacle each and every year.

A silver gilt case containing the body of St. Spyridon is displayed in means of public worship for 3 days and nights. It is paraded around the town, followed by the philharmonic bands.

15/08 – Assumption of the Virgin

This is the second biggest religious holiday after Easter and is celebrated in almost every town and village in Greece.

Every church on the island dedicated to Virgin Mary organizes a festival and Greek music can be heard originating from everywhere!

August Panigiri

& Festivals

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