Many of the traditions and customs of Mykonos have been preserved to this day, despite the massive tourism development of the island. Festivals are a way of life on the island and all the visitors are invited to eat and have fun. Bread and pastries are offered after the Vesper on the eve of the honored saint’s feast day and ewe ragout, boiled meat, lard with cabbage, bouillon with lemon and plenty of wine follow later.
The tables are set in the ancillary spaces that most chapels have. The ‘tsambouna’ (bagpipe) and the ‘toumbaki’ (small drum) are the two traditional musical instruments that accompany these feasts.
The summer festivals begin with the celebrations for the Holy Trinity. The most important festivals are:
– the celebration of the church of Agia Marina in Ano Mera and at the Vorna area on July 17
– the celebration of the church of Profitis Ilias in Skalado on July 20
– the celebration of the church of Agia Anna on the homonymous beach on July 25
– the celebration of the church of Agia Paraskevi on July 26
– the celebration of the church of Agios Panteleimonas in Marathi and Vorna on July 27
-the festivals in honor of the Virgin Mary on August 15 in Ano Mera and on August 23 on the novena of the Virgin Mary
– the celebration of the Holy Cross on September 14 in Marathi
– the celebrations on the feast day of Saint Gerasimos and Saint Artemios in Chora in October.
The descent of Virgin Mary’s icon. A procession carries the icon of the Virgin Mary from the Monastery of Tourliani to Chora on the first Saturday of Lent.
* Source: a text by Olga Markari, member of the Cultural Association of Mykonian Women (www.mykonostour.gr).
Exaltation of the Holy Cross. It is held at the chapel of Stavros (Holy Cross) at the airport, as well as at the Folklife Museum of Mykonos (on September 14).
Feast of the harvest (Pentecost). A revival of the festival of the harvest takes place at the Agricultural Museum (Bonis Mill) on the second Sunday of September.
“Chirosfagia” (Pig slaughter festival) (See relative section in Gastronomy)
Balosia. It is a festival that is held on Epiphany day celebrating the beginning of the nautical period. It is organized by the Women’s Association and takes place right after the waters are sanctified by throwing a cross in the sea.
Koukougeri. The Municipality of Mykonos and the Women’s Association organize a parade of people in disguise (who are called koukougeri) on Carnival Sunday in Lakka.
You will find more information on the website www.mykonos.gr under the section “Dancing at the Mykonian festivals and celebrations”.