Sousta, the most favorite dance of the Rhodians comes from Crete. Each village has its own choreography of sousta, with steps varying from one village to another. Different sousta in Archaggelos, different in Laerma, different in Siana, different in Embonas… It is danced sideways and clockwise, by a large chain of dancers, both male and female. The first dancer leads the rest with improvisations and fancy footwork. The best chance for anyone to watch the Rhodians perform their traditional dance is during festivals, most of which take place during the summer and especially around the Fifteenth of August, when the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is celebrated.
Some of the most important festivals on the island of Rhodes are:
On 16th and 17th July in Paradisi and on 16th July in Apolakkia takes place the celebration of Hagia Marina (Saint Marina). The first Saturday after 17th July the Watermelon Festival in South Rhodes is organized, while on 25th, 26th and 27th July, days of celebration of Agia Paraskevi (Saint Paraskevi) and Agios Panteleimonas (Saint Pantaleon), a three-day feast takes place in Kattavia.
On 28th, 29th and 30th July is the celebration of Saint Silas (Soulas) in Soroni and on 13th, 14th and 15th August is the celebration of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Ialyssos and Kremasti. Moreover, on 7th and 8th September the Nativity of the Virgin Mary is celebrated in Panagia Tsambika (Virgin Mary Tsambika) of Archangelos and on 8th August in Panagia Skiadeni (Virgin Mary the “Shade casting”) in South Rhodes.
Additional information on the festivals of Rhodes at
CELEBRATIONS AND FESTIVALS
Medieval Festival. The medieval times are revived inside the Old Town of Rhodes and the visitor becomes acquainted with unknown aspects of the island’s folk tradition.
The Fifteenth of August (The Assumption of the Virgin Mary). In the village of Kremasti, in one of the most beautiful churches that celebrates the Assumption of the Mother of God and the Novena Afterfeast for the Assumption, believers and visitors come from Rhodes and all of the Dodecanese. The feast also hosts a Panhellenic exhibition of handicraft and other cultural events.
Watermelon Festival. It takes place in Apolakkia. Focusing on watermelon, visitors taste drinks and delicacies and participate in fun games.
European Music Day. The city centre is transformed into an open park with cultural activities and multiple music scenes, located around the Old Town, the City Hall Square and the Aquarium.
Medieval Festival at the Castle of Kritinia. A two-day event on medieval times with medieval games and activities, screenings of audiovisual material, food and drinks.
Strawberry Festival. It takes place in Paradisi and it is a great opportunity to taste strawberries from local producers accompanied by traditional music and dance events.
Flower Festival. The modern celebration of flowers originates from ancient Greece and serves as an opportunity for the organization of joint events both by local associations and the authorities. Events are organized in Ialyssos, such as painting and photography exhibitions and a parade of flower-adorned floats in Mandraki.
Carnival feast in the Old Town. During the carnival, the Old Town of Rhodes hosts cultural and music events.