Religion plays an important role in the ethos of the Astypaleans and island feasts connected with the local churches are celebrated with pomp and gaiety. The Islanders have an innate sense of warmth and friendliness and never hesitate to include visitors in their celebrations. Of high interest are the local festivities which are held during the summer period.
Religious feasts & festivals
The most important celebration for the locals of Astypalea is the feast day of the Virgin Mary, on the 15th of August. The Holy Virgin is celebrated through a 3day celebration which takes place in the monastery of Portaitissa, at the top of the hill. There is traditional music along with food, and the best local treats.
On July 26th is the feast day of Agios Panteleimon.
On August 6th is the feast for the Transfiguration of Christ.
The Litany of Portaitissa and St Anthemos is held on September 4th on the island of Astypalea. The icon of Virgin Portaitissa and the remains of Osios Anthimos, the blind builder of the church of Panagia Portaitissa, are taken on a litany around Chora.
The summer nights of Astypalea are filled by a series of cultural events including theatrical works, book fairs, musical evenings with contemporary Greek singers.