Astypalea Customs and Festivals

The Cultural Festival called “In Astypalaia for the Arts and the Culture” has two cycles of events (one during the summer and one during the winter) each year. During the summer, concerts with known Greek and foreign artists, theater performances and exhibitions take place on the island along with the revival of many local customs.
The Cultural and Educational Association of Astypalaia organizes the “Maxoulia” festival that is based on the idea of self-organization, volunteering and supporting initiatives for amateurs and young people and includes theater performances, music and visual arts events.


February, 2: Festivities for the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple at the church of Panagia Flevariotissa that include a feast with traditional music and dancing.

July, 27: Festivities of the church of Agios Panteleimon in Livadia, where traditional sweets are offered during the ensuing feast.

August, 6: Festivities for the Transfiguration of Jesus in Livadia. Sweets are once again offered during the ensuing feast.

August, 14 to 16: Festivities for the Assumption of Mary at the church of Panagia Portaitissa in the capital. The three-day event brings together a large number of islanders living in Athens or abroad. On the eve of the Assumption, a feast takes place in the church’s courtyard after the evening prayer. The next day the so-called “lambriano” (stuffed lamb) is prepared for the feast after the Divine Liturgy. The “Koukania” take place on the final day of the festivities. They include swimming contests, blindfolded yogurt eating and the game of the rooster (the islanders tie the effigy of a rooster to a wooden pole smeared with grease and compete to find out who will be the first to reach it).

September, 4: Procession of the icon of Panagia Portaitissa and the relics of Blessed Anthimos through the capital. The procession finally arrives at the so-called house of the “celebrant”, where sanctification takes place and a feast follows.

September, 8: Festivities for the Nativity of Mary. Liturgies take place in the chapels of Panagia Poulariani and Panagia tou Thoma in Vathi followed by a feast with traditional music and dancing.

October, 26: Festivities of the church of Agios Dimitrios in Maltezana.

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