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Thessaloniki, the second largest town in Greece, has a long history and a rich culture to show its visitors. This is not only presented in the many ancient sites of the town, for which Thessaloniki was chosen as the European Cultural Capital for 1997, but also through the numerous important festivals and events that are organized all year round.
Agios Dimitrios, the protector of Thessaloniki, celebrates on October 27th and this is a public holiday for Thessaloniki. Schools, shops and public services are closed, while there is a large school parade to honor this saint.
International Trade Fair
The Thessaloniki International Trade Fair is an annual commercial exhibition that takes place every September for 10 days. This event first started in 1926 and since today, it has gained great esteem with participants from Greece, the Balkans, and Southeastern Europe. This fair is inaugurated by the prime minister and it is common that he announces the policies of the government for the next year during the trade fair, showing the political and economically important of this event.
International Film Festival
The International Film Festival of Thessaloniki takes place every year in autumn. Films are played in various cinema theatres in the center of Thessaloniki, although the head office of the festival is located in Olympion Theatre. It first started as a "Week of Greek Cinema" but now it hosts the works of leading and emerging cinema makers from all over the world and attracts the attention of many celebrities. It includes competitive and non-competitive sections and presents innovative independent films of new directors.
International Festival of Photography
The Thessaloniki International Festival of Photography started in 1988 and was the idea of photographer Aris Georgiou. Now, it is organized by the Museum of Photography of Thessaloniki and artists from all over Greece and abroad take place. Events and exhibitions are held in various places all around the town, like museums, galleries, bookshops or cafeterias.