Cultural and Customs

Customs and traditions

During the summer months the municipality organises concerts, theatrical performances and folklore evenings with live music.

Folklore feasts and Celebrations :
Kasos religious feasts have a strong local timbre since there is partying and dance with local musicians and singers.
Saints’ feast days are celebrated each year with food offered free, with drinks, traditional music and dance laid on for those in attendance. At several chapels there are even traditional guesthouses where foreign visitors and tourists can find free accommodation.

An exceptionally grand celebration takes place each year on 7th June to mark the anniversary of the Kassos Holocaust.
Each year events are organised over the course of 3 days. Wreathes are laid on the memorials to those fallen in battle and students parade before official guests. Local dances in traditional costumes are performed.

The largest feast on the island is that of the Virgin on 15th August. Another major feast on Kassos is that of Aghia Marina on 17th July when quite a few island women wear local costumes. Another is that of Aghios Spyridonas when residents celebrate with lyres, traditional limericks known as ‘mantinades’, Kasos and Cretan dances.

At the Aghios Georgios Monastery in Hadies there are feasts for the Panaghia Ellerou on 8th September and Aghios Georgios on 23rd April. These feasts last two days. Food is available and visitors can stay overnight at the monastery.

On 3rd November, on the feast of Aghios Georgios Methystis there is a celebration with food and wine offered. The traditional dish is goat in tomato sauce with rice.

The feast of Aghios Dimitrios is celebrated each year in Arvanitohori on 26th October with a party.

The feasts of the Holy Trinity in June and Aghios Mamas on 2nd September last 2 days and food is offered to pilgrims.

Easter customs :
In the presence of the faithful at the village church during Holy Week local bread snacks are baked and sweets and lamb (or goat) cooked for the Easter meal in a traditional wood fired oven.
A figure representing the Jew is burned. There is a re-enactment of the burning of Judas on Easter Sunday.
Christmas customs :
Local carols are sung at Christmas, New Year and the Epiphany sometimes accompanied by traditional musical instruments.
First footing for the New Year is done by parading the icon of the Virgin on New Year’s Day and the island’s homes are blessed on the Epiphany.

Marriage customs:
“Kaniski”: The groom’s gifts to the bride are presented 2 days before the wedding in the presence of women guests alone and sweets are offered by the bride to the groom in thanks.

“Penemata”: Music with limericks is played at the groom’s home by the local musicians who will accompany the couple to the church and later to the reception hall for the meal and dance.
Traditional food and mezes are served to all guests together with abundant wine.

“Podies”: Aprons are given as a gift by the bride to women during preparation of the food and to all men when it is served up to the guests.

“Klisimo”: The groom’s promise to all those who accompanied the couple home at the end of the evening or the promise to buy drinks on the 2nd day celebrations for the wedding so that they hand over the key to the marital home which they have hidden.

“2nd day”” The continuation of the marriage celebration for a 2nd day.

“Antigamos”: A dinner given by the parents of the groom to the couple and the bride’s relatives one week after the wedding.