Naxos island, being the largest island of Cyclades counts on plenty of religious festivals which are known since antiquity. Once a year the villages and settlements of Naxos celebrate their patron saints with traditional dances and music, local delights and wine served to the people. In the past, feasts were usually held in the countryside but today locals organize these celebrations at the central spots of the island so that everyone can take part in such a celebration.
Religious feasts & festivals
On the 15th of August, the feast day of Virgin Mary, where great feasts occur in the villages and capital of Naxos but the best-known festival takes place in Filoti, at the 200 years old church Panagia Fiiotissa. Hundreds of people arrive to honour the icon of the Holy Virgin.
The feast of Panagia Agrokiliotissa takes place on Holy Friday, before Easter at Koronos village. It is known as the most important feast of Naxos where pilrims worship the miraculous icon of the Holy Virgin. Locals celebrate with wine, delicacies and dances.
On 14th of July, locals celebrate the patron saint of Naxos, Agios Nikodeimos Agioritis feast. Celebrations take place mainly in Chora and after the church ceremonies a procession of the icon starts throughout the streets of the capital followed by a lively feast with food and drinks.
On the 29th of June is the feast day of Agioi Apostoloi which is celebrated with a three-day festival in Melanes village.
On the 17th of July, there is a festival in Koronos village dedicated to Agia Marina.
The Axia Music Festival is a lovely event organized annually in Halki. It is highly appreciated by the lovers of classical music and those who are interested to gear some poetry. The festival hosts excellent musicians to make your nights in Naxos even more romantic.
Dionysia is one of the best-known festivals scheduled in Naxos including concerts, theatrical performances, art exhibitions and a plethora of other events which are crowned with the wine feast, in honor of God Dionysus. The festival is held during the first weekend of September.
The Naxos Summer Festival is hosted in Bazeos Tower for more than 20 years now and features excellent perfomers from all art fields, from Greece and other countries.
The Rakee Distillery Festival is also organized in September, as rakee and kitron are the traditional drinks of Naxos.
There have been efforts by the local authorities and volunteers of Naxos to revive the old customs such as the Carnival of Naxos. One of the old customs which still occur in the island is Klidonas Custom which is also met in other Cycladic islands.