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Local holidays and celebrations
Easter and holy week
For the Greek Orthodox Church Easter is the most important feast. Some of the most beautiful songs from the Easter liturgy are already sung during the holy week before Easter. On the morning of Holy Saturday, the "Judas", a scarecrow made of straw and old clothes, is led through the village on a donkey. People laugh at them and hand out "Kaltsounia" (cheesecake) and candy. The scarecrow is burned in a big fire at midnight to symbolize the cruel fate of the traitor. At the end of the fair, the Association for Culture of Vamos serves free food and wine to the villagers. It is at the same time the end of the 40-day fasting period.
Easter Sunday is the most important date in the Greek Orthodox church calendar, a day of merriment and celebration, with lots of wine, dancing and singing. In all Greece on this day a lamb grilled on a spit is eaten. In Crete it is often roasted in the oven over grapevine branches.
The Foudanakia – Festival on 23 June
The day of the "Klidona is held every year on 23. June is celebrated and dedicated to St. John. The origins of this day can be found in the pagan celebrations of the god Apollo, the Zoroastrian worship of fire and the celebrations of the longest day of the year. On this day, prophecy and divination play a leading role. According to Cretan custom, the unmarried girls of the village fill a ceramic pot with water and throw something small into it "Rizikari" called, z. B. a fruit, a precious stone, a key o.a.. The pot is covered with a red cloth and the next day it is opened to take out one object at a time. A big feast with food and wine follows, while big fires are lit from the wreaths woven on the first of May, over which the young people then jump! Every year the Cultural Association of Vamos organizes with great success the day of "Klidonas" on the small square of the "Pitsikounis" in the heart of the village: almost the whole village and visitors from Vamos take part in it.
Panigyria – village festivals
Panigyria are the festivals that can be found throughout rural Greece in connection with the appreciation of a saint. They have always been a good occasion for the social life in the villages, and there is always traditional music. Here are the most important of Vamos and its surroundings:
On 25. July , one day before the feast of "Agia Paraskevi" (Holy Friday), Manolis Troulos of Vamos organizes a traditional "Panigyri" in Pigadia Square, one of the most beautiful places in Vamos, with lots of food, wine and dancing. The money collected there is used for various works needed here. This festival is a must!
The day of "Agio Pnevma" (Holy Spirit) is similar to the Pentecost festival of the Western churches. The exact date for this varies, as it is related to Easter. On this day, Father Spyros organizes a "Panigyri" with food, wine and dance, in which all the villagers participate. The main meal is of course the traditional "pilafi", rice cooked in the juice of a lamb!
The 15. August is the day of the "Koimisis" (the "Dormition") of Saint Mary, one of the most important days of the Greek Orthodox Church, right after Easter and Christmas.
Likotinara and Alikambos held. On 14. and 15. August, the whole area dances and sings!
The "Panigyri" of the 5. and 6. August ; the days of Jesus the Savior, is celebrated in Xirosterni and is one of the most famous and popular in Apokoronas!
On 29. August ; the day of Saint John "Rigologos", the "Panigyria" of Vafes and Douliana, two of the most picturesque villages of Apokoronas!
Festival "Jazz in July
The festival is held annually in July in Vamos and is organized by the "Vamos Art and Thought" Society, which is responsible for almost all cultural events in Vamos. It has a high cultural level; the most important Greek jazz musicians and famous artists from abroad perform here. It is one of the few jazz festivals in Greece that have managed to become famous. And there is nothing better than good jazz music on warm July nights!
Summer is the time of cultural diversity in the whole country and therefore also in Crete. If you are interested, you will find a great offer to visit concerts, theater performances and many other cultural events. On our website you will find the most important , the ones that we believe show and maintain the cultural facets of the country.