15th Of August (Dekapentavgoustos) Celebrations In Crete, Greece
The 15th of August, the day of the Dormition of Holy Virgin Mary, is Greece’s biggest celebration of the year after Christmas and Easter. Even though this is the day Virgin Mary died, the Dekapendavgousto is not about mourning but the joy for the reunion with her son. Once, this day was all about religion but these times are long time gone and Dekapendavgousto has turned into an almost entirely cultural festivity.
If you happen to travel around Greece during the first two weeks of August, make sure to visit one of the “panigiri” – festive parties that take place in towns and villages all around Greece, as this is the best opportunity to get the taste of real, authentic Greece.
While every island has its own traditions for the 15th of August, Cretans are ahead with their scale of festivities, as always. Dekapendavgousto in Crete is lots of food (read: meat), even more wine and raki, as well as passionate folk dances to beautiful traditional music.
Nation-wide summer celebration also means that most of the Greeks are off and on vacation, so prepare to see lots of businesses and institutions closed. That being said, it is better to not plan any business or paperwork for this period 🙂