LIFE SHARED WITH OTHERS

Local Festivals are those special days of the year where all the members of society will join up to celebrate their local saint’s nameday in the church, country chapel or the monastery bearing his – or her – name, brought together by the familiar rituals. The religious element, the food and drink, the various traditions of the agricultural cycle, dancing, singing and revelry are what make these festivals so beguiling. They are of great interest in general, but each one has something distinctive about it. That is why these fetes are inimitable as social events, bringing together features you won’t find in exclusively cultural festivals.

In spite of all the radical changes that have occurred in the past fifty years, changes that have overturned centuries worth of morals and habits especially as concerns the traditional community, these festivals continue to constitute a common form of expression for most participants who by their presence are resisting the alienation from their traditional culture, whose essence was the cohesion of their society. Perhaps it is in these remnants of community life that we may find the solution to the utter and total globalization that is threatening to level us. In the hypocrisy of today’s social interactions and the escape through “virtual travel”, these festivals are here to remind us that real life still exists. Life shared with others.

In this chapter we will describe the better known festivals in Greece of each region as well as the traditional dishes served there.