Due to its position and long history of naval life, Greece has always been very close to the sea and the marine world. When it comes to the influence of this relationship on the Greek cuisine, we see that in almost every area of Greece, you can find fresh fish and many other kinds of seafood being sold either straight from the fishermen or in the taverns and restaurants. Especially small grilled or fried fish make an excellent side dish for drinking ouzo in a typical Greek tavern close to the beach. Following this tradition, the Greeks have established various feasts that are dedicated to this connection with the sea, one of which is the sardine festival.
Sardine Festivals are organised every year in many places across Greece and especially in places with high proximity to the sea. Some of the most famous are in Halkidiki, Preveza, Chania, Lesvos and Thassos. As the name suggests, the festival comprises of the grilling of many sardines in central squares of these destinations and a lot of drinking, music and dancing. The purpose of firstly to create a strong connection with the customs and traditions of the past and secondly to bring people together under a common feast where they can gather and talk and dance and attend various greek live performances thus developing a connection with each other in a cozy atmosphere.
The feasts are mostly held during the summer when the weather is nice and there is a high arrival of tourists.