The Kanaria Festival will take place on August 14th and 15th in Parga, as every year. These two days are the highlight of the summer festivities in this lovely, seaside town and have both a religious and historical meaning for the locals.
In the evening of August 14th, the eve of Virgin Mary's name day, there is a traditional festival in front of Panagia islet, at the entrance of Parga port. People go to this islet by boats. Traditional music is played, people dance and eat local recipes. The next day, on the evening of August 15th, the Varkarola Festival takes place: two lines of boats, nicely decorated with Venetian lights, sail towards the port, while the sky is filled with fireworks.
These festivities symbolize the return of the residents to their homeland in the late 19th century. In 1817, the British, who ruled Parga that time, sold the town to Ali Pasha, the Turkish ruler of Ioannina. To save themselves from the Turks, the residents of Parga moved to the neighboring island of Corfu. When the town was set free, they returned home. This return is gloriously celebrated at these two festivals.