The Festival of Olive Tree and Olive Oil in Sparti: The Municipality of Oinounta lies to the north of Sparti. Oinounta is blessed with the wealth of olive trees. The 420,000 olive trees of Oinounta make it a popular olive treasure, known for the high-quality and purity of its olive oil. The people in Oinounta feel that they are blessed with a wonderful land, full of olive trees, the symbol of peace. To express their gratitude to Nature, the locals here celebrate every year the Festival of the Olive. The festival is organized in August.
It is also worth to mention that a forest fire broke out in Oinounta in 1988. The fire created a devastating impact on the crops, especially the olive trees. About 25 homes were destroyed and two people were killed during the fire. Exactly after ten years, in 1998, the people in Oinounta decided to replant the olives and organize a festival dedicated to these trees and their products.
The Festival of the Olive Oil is conducted to promote the Oinounta olive oil and to preserve its indigenous quality. Oinounta olive is deeply associated with the culture and values of its residents, who depend on olive farming to make their living. The festival offers the locals and tourists the opportunity to get to know the Oinounta olive trees.
The festival focuses on themes such as the history of the olive tree and olive oil, the methods of production, the olive ecology, the organic cultivations, the olive-based products and their application in arts and other areas. There is a dedicated section for handcrafted items made from olive wood and leaves. There is also a section for knowledge resources, which include books on olive and machinery used for olive oil production.
Wine and food is part of the festival. The folklore dances and Mediterranean cuisine prepared in the traditional taverns add to the festivities. Of course, olive oil is the main ingredient in the dishes served during the festival.