Chios Events

Chios Events
Find below a list of the most important and not-to-be-missed events and festivals that take place on Chios each year and unveil this magical island's rich tradition and culture to Greeks and foreign travellers too!

Anniversary of Independence
The Anniversary of Independence is celebrated on November 11th in the Chora of Chios with a feast of local food and alcohol, festivities and traditional dances.

New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve is celebrated the night before the New Year at the central square of Chora where locals exchange miniature ship gifts and give wishes to each other. This custom derives from the tradition of Chians decorating boats instead of trees in their own homes honoring in such way their shipping heritage. On the last day of the year children from around the island construct model ships and compete for the bigger and better boat with penemeta (written verses each competitor writes for its boat), presentations and local music.

Karies Cultural Festival
The Cultural Festival of Karies takes place during the summertime when the Cultural Society of Chios organizes a series of events that take place in the village of Karies featuring feasts and local dance performances at the village's central square.

The Carnival of Chios or “The feast of Mostra”
Originating from the medieval times, on the last Friday of Triodio the young men of the village masquerade and on Sunday they gather at the central square to dance the “talimi”: the war, man to man, dance. Finally they head to the church of Agios Efstratios and sing a war song on their way to the church where they hang flags of the island. In some of the villages the Agas custom has been revived, the villagers assign an Aga who judges and condemns most of the attendants who are obligated to buy off their freedom. The last Sunday of the Carnival on the central square of Volissos many people gather around to sing and dance the Diplo, a traditional Volissian dance and a series of festivities begin.

Easter on Chios & the Rocket Festival
Easter is fairly celebrated throughout the island but the most exciting event that takes place during the night of the Resurrection is the Rocket war of the two parishes in Vrondados, the parish of Panagia Erithiani and Saint Mark's which attracts visitors from all over the world. The burning of Judas is also very common in many of the villages.

Summer Festival & Fairs
During the summer months there is always a reason for celebration on the island. Chios Island, along with all other Greek regions, celebrates its saints and the saints to whom the churches of each village are dedicated to. Every village performs a celebration on its central square that consists of a feast, traditional music and dancing. The major three festivals are listed below:
• The Feast of Agia Paraskevi is celebrated on July 26th at the village of Kalamoti.
• The Feast of Agia Markella is celebrated on the 22nd of July at Kardamyla and Volissos with a 3-day celebration. Saint Markella tried to escape from her father's lust while he chased her along the sea and wounded her with an arrow. While standing in front of some rocks by the sea, Agia Markella prayed to God to open for her a passage through the rocks from which she could escape. The rock opened and Agia Markella was able to hide her body but not her head so her father decapitated her and threw her head into the sea. It is said that holy water springs from the rock on the day of her celebration.
• The Feast of the Virgin Mary is celebrated on August 15th in most of the island's villages but the most famous feast is that of Pyrgi were locals gather around the square and dance the Pyrgousikos dance.

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