Crete Events and Festivals

(Crete, Greece)

Picture of the Rethymnon harbourAn island which is very much the epitome of Greek history, Crete offers its visitors nothing short of a continual succession of seasonal festivals and things to do. Many of the events on Crete are of a religious nature, while others are really just a very good excuse for a celebration and a spot of Greek dancing.

The main festivals on the island are both national and region, with Easter in Crete being of great importance. Various ceremonies are held during the Holy Week and culminate on the eve of Easter Sunday. At midnight, churches all across the island switch out their lights, and each worshipper then lights their very own candle and take it home, trying to keep it alight! This is a very important event in the Cretan Greek Othodox calendar and usually features a dramatic fireworks day, to mark the start of feasting.

Crete Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015

Other significant events on Crete include the following festivals:

  • Feast of Agios Vasilios (St. Basil) - January 1st
  • Epiphany (Blessing of the Waters) - January 6th
  • Shrove Monday - February to March
  • Independence Day (Anniversary of the hoisting of the Greek Flag) - March 25th
  • Feast of Agios Georgos (St. George - patron saint of Crete) - April 23rd or Tuesday following Easter
  • May Day (National Holiday) - May 1st
  • Battle of Crete - last week of May
  • Navy Week - last week in June, every other year (even numbers)
  • Feast of St. John the Baptist - June 24th
  • Feast of Agia Marina (St. Marina) - July 17th
  • Feast of Profitis Ilias - July 20th
  • Crete Wine Festival of Rethymno - mid-July
  • Yakinthia Festival - last week of July, at Anogia
  • Assumption Day - August 15th
  • Paleohora Music Festival - first ten days in August
  • Cultural Festival of Ano Viannos - lasting three days at the beginning of August
  • Arhanes Wine Festival - August 15th
  • Crete Sultana Festival - last week of August
  • Potato Festival - for three days at the end of August, at Tzermiado
  • Traditional Cretan Weddings - late August, at Krista
  • Genisis tis Panangias (the Virgin's Birthday) - September 8th, throughout Greece and the island
  • Chestnut Festival - third Sunday in October, in the village of Elos
  • Ohi (No) Day - October 28th
  • Anniversay of Moni Arkadiou - November 7th to November 9th
  • Christmas Day - December 25th