Local festivals

  • A series of events related to the local tradition takes place on January 18 in St Athanasios, Stanos.
  • The memory of the Forty Martyrs is celebrated in Gomati and several religious events take place on March 9.
  • The monastery of Annunciation of Theotokos in Olympiada celebrates on March 25.
  • Traditional events accompanied with the offering of free food in the kourbani take place in Varvara on the day of St. George’s celebration. Neochori celebrates its patron on the same day.
  • The chapels of St. Raphael in Megali Panagia, Stagira and Varvara celebrate on the third day of Easter, whereas the chapels of Zoodochos Pigi in Arnaia and Ierissos celebrate on the Friday after that.
  • Events take place in the chapels of Megali Panagia, Stanos (where the May Day is celebrated) Neochori and Varvara on May 2, the day of celebration of St. Athanasios.
  • A great festival together with naturalist activities takes place in St. Nicholas of the Mountain in Stratoni, on May 20.
  • Folklore events take place in Ouranoupolis, on the day of the Holy Spirit, which attract a lot of people due to the three-day holiday. The chapel of Aghia Triada (Holly Trinity) in Gomati celebrates on the same day.
  • The chapel of St. Peter and St. Paul in Ierissos celebrate on June 29.
  • The chapel of St. Athanasios the Athonite celebrate in Palaiochori on June 29 and on this occasion the residents participate in folklore events.
  • The chapel of St. Kyriaki celebrates on July 7. Many events take place in the village during the whole week before, one of which is the famous “Mussel Festival” that attracts visitors from all over Macedonia and European countries.
  • The chapel of Prophet Elias is celebrates in Ierissos on July 20 with a famous festival taking place a few kilometers outside the village. The Prophet Elias chapels in Gomati and Neochori are celebrated on the same day. Feasts, traditional dances and folklore events always attract a great number of visitors.
  • A popular festival takes place in Arnaia on the name of St. Paraskevi on July 26. Thousands of people are gathered to the homonymous park to worship and then celebrate, have fun and dance to the tunes of the zurnas that are played nonstop, keeping the village alive!
  • The chapel of St. Panteleimonas is celebrated on August 15, in Ierissos with a large folklore festival.
  • The largest festival of the region takes place in Megali Panagia, on August 15. Thousands of people are gathered at night to the Holy Pilgrimage, forming a many kilometers long human chain, they worship and next they celebrate in the village squares, the road and the open spaces until the wee hours of the morning.
  • The 9 days of Virgin Mary is celebrated on August 23 in Nea Roda, and a folk festival takes place, which is usually accompanied by the “Sardine Festival” and the “Anchovy Festival” attracting many visitors.
  • Events take place in Arnaia on August 24 where people honor the memory of St. Kosmas the Aetolian.
  • Folklore events take place in Stanos on September 1, in the name of local St. Haido, that last almost a week.
  • The Birth of Mary is celebrated on September 1, in Ierissos, Stagira and Megali Panagia, where cultural and folklore events take place.
  • The memory of St. Anargyroi is celebrated in Arnaia on November 1, which coincides with the celebration of the city’s liberation from the Turks.
  • Events take place on the celebration of the Great Archangels in Palaiochori, on November 8.
  • The memory of St. Varvara, the patroness of the mines is celebrated in Stratoni on December 4 and is always accompanied by multi-day cultural events and the opening of the Christmas “Fairytale-land”.
  • On December 6, Ierissos celebrates St. Nicholas, patron of the seamen and Stratoniki its protector.
  • Arnaia and Stagira celebrate St. Modestos on December 18.

Cultural activities in Arnaia

* Standard cultural activities and religious holidays are held in Arnaia throughout the year. It is worth mentioning the Cultural and Educational Organization of Arnaia, a union connected to the cultural life of the place. Its activities began in 1975 and included the collection, preservation and promotion of the historic, folklore, archaeological and anthropological material of Arnaia and the nearby region. At the same time, after the very important project of erecting the Cultural Center of Arnaia, it contributes a great deal in the spiritual, artistic and cultural development of the city with the organization of a series of cultural events (theatrical, musical, scientific). Finally, it is capable of materializing community and state funded programs regarding cultural and other activities.

The Cultural and Educational Organization of Arnaia issues the quarterly newspaper “Antilaloi of Arnaia” (Echoes of Arnaia), which is a medium of informing the public about the social and cultural life in Arnaia. As a part of its action, the Organization resurrects a series of customs such as the one of “Koutsmanous” that is held in the area with the contribution of the residents and a number of visitors.

The Aristotle Spiritual Center of the Arnaia Municipality also contributes greatly to the cultural and spiritual development. It is a Public Entity that manages each individual funding given by the Municipality or other agencies. Its activities relate to the organization of events in the areas of education, culture, athletics, tourism and technology for the development of the area such as concerts, art, photograph and book exhibitions, theatrical and musical shows, lectures, religious celebrations, promotion of the Athonite heritage etc.

A cultural and spiritual center, a theater, a gallery, a music school, traditional dance groups, choirs etc. operate under its aegis. Furthermore, a large number of remarkable cultural events, mainly theatrical and musical shows, are held in Arnaia and in the rest of the Municipality of Aristotle’s villages during the last two years, with the revival of “Aristoteleia”.

* Text by archaeologist Athina Marathianou