Corfu's Unforgettable Festivals


In Corfu, August is generally speaking the month for village festivals or panigiri in Greek. Every week there are several festivals going on across 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 and traditional dancing, lots of souvlaki (and retsina!) and lamb on the spit.

Here are some of the more important events taking place this summer, 2016:

2nd August – Folklore Festival, Kassiopi

This will be the first of its kind in Kassiopi and will boast loud Greek music to which dancers dressed in traditional costume will dance the day and night away. The beautiful Kassiopi harbour provides the perfect setting for the event.

Around 10th August* – Varkarola, Palaiokastritsa

The Varkarola is a famous festival which takes place every summer in Corfu. The event celebrates the miracle of Saint Spyridon whom locals believe 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 there is a giant fireworks display to commemorate the burning of the Turkish naval fleet during the 18th century siege.

*dates change each year so please check. There are other Varkarola celebrations around the same time, such as the one at Petriti in south Corfu.

11th August  St.Spyridon's Day

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

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

15th August - Festival of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary

The Festival of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is a big national holiday. Any church on the island dedicated to the Virgin Mary organises a festival and Greek music can be heard coming from everywhere!

Take a look at our guide to local festivals in Lefkada and Meganissi >>

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