Paros, like the majority of the Greek islands, is renowned for the festivals that take place mostly during the summer months and attract tourists and natives alike. In Greece, most festivals are religious-related and are conducted in honor of a saint-protector, but many celebrate also major historical events. Below you will find a list with all the must see festivals that you should definitely not miss when in Paros:
# The Assumption of Virgin Mary, 15th August
Regarded as one of the most prominent and celebrated feasts of Christianity, the Assumption of Virgin Mary is celebrated throughout Greece with great devoutness. In Paros however it is more than a special occasion, as the church of Panagia Ekantontapiliani in Paroikia is dedicated to the mother of Christ and festivities acquire a grandiose character. There is a litany of the miraculous icon of Virgin Mary throughout the backstreets of the capital, followed by fireworks and a big feast with local goodies and dance at Paroikia’s harbor.
# Kleidonas Festival, 23th June
With its roots deep into the ancient, pagan past, the festival of Kleidonas has been fully incorporated into the customs of Paros over the centuries. During the ritual, youngsters jump over fires, in an attempt to exorcise evil spirits. The impressive tradition is accompanied by loads of locally produced wine and delicacies, while there is music and dances - a great way to blend in with locals! The Kleidonas festival takes place in the villages of Prodromos, Naoussa as well as Aliki.
# Festival of the Pirates, 23th August
The renowned Festival of the Pirates is one of Naoussa’s major attractions as it enthuses everyone that happens to be present during late August. Reenacting the 16th century depredation of the women of Naoussa by the pirates of Barbarossa as well as the counterattack of the locals to get them back, the festivity requires that men and women dress up and take part, while after the “battle” there is a massive conviviality where everyone is invited to eat, drink and dance until the sun comes up!
# The celebration of Trata, early September
To honor “trata”, the fishing boat type that was an inextricable part of the everyday life and economy of Paros, locals of Paroikia organize every year a festivity that includes major amount of fresh seafood, traditional dishes as well as souma (a traditional beverage) - an excellent chance to taste the local cuisine at its finest.