Ios Homeria Festival
Ios Homeria: Homer, the legendary poet who composed the epics the Iliad and the Odyssey has a special place in the hearts of the people of Ios. Ios was supposedly the home of Homer's mother Clymene and also where Homer spent the last days of his life. The islanders feel a special connection with him and today the most important cultural event of the island is the Homeria, celebrated to honor Homer.
The festival of Homeria started in the year 1991 and takes place every May sometime during the first two weekends and goes on for a period of three days. This is probably the only time when the otherwise party atmosphere of the island mellows down a little and the entire place becomes calmer and more religiously inclined thus making it an ideal time to be visited by those who prefer a more peaceful vacation. It is celebrated on a grand scale and attracts locals from the Cyclades as well as foreigners from across the world in large multitudes.
In the two weekends, you can see everything from sports events to school theatre contests to lectures about Homer to folk dances to concerts to art exhibitions to creative workshops to painting contests and also feasts with mouthwatering local specialties. Prominent figures from the fields of arts and culture from around the world also come here to be a part of this vibrant cultural festival.
On the 15th of May, a flame is carried from the port to his supposed tomb in Plakoto at the northernmost end of the island. The Homeria is a festival that the Islanders really look forward to year after year. They take immense pride in this festival and celebrate it with a lot of zest and enthusiasm.
The Homeria Festival offers people a perfect opportunity to experience an enjoyable and culturally rich affair and a chance to connect with the locals so much so that you eventually feel like just another native islander.