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Home / Things to do / Culture and Events / Feasts and Celebrations
Feasts and Celebrations

In Malia you will encounter many celebrations; sometimes these celebrations have a religious background, sometimes they are cultural events and sometimes just a good excuse to have a big party again!

Religious celebrations

Carnival
Carnival is celebrated quite intense in Malia, complete with dressing up and parading. Almost the entire community takes part in this highly social happening that ends on Clean Monday.

Clean Monday
40 days prior to Easter and the beginning of Lent. On this Monday before Ash Wednesday people in Malia traditionally spend the day at Potamos Beach near the archaeological site with picnics and kite flying.

Easter
By far the most important feast in the Orthodox year and taken more seriously than anywhere else in Western Europe. The dates vary and usually differ from Roman Catholic and Protestant Easter.

One week prior to Easter, on Palm Sunday, church goers return from service with a cross of woven palm leaf and a tiny olive branch. The entire Holy Week is dedicated to spiritual preparation for Christ’s Resurrection.

On the evening of Good Friday the Descent from the Cross is lamented in church. A moving religious ceremony is followed by a solemn candle-lit procession: the ‘Epitáfios’ moves through the village with Christ’s funeral bier, beautifully decorated with flowers by the girls and women of the village.

On the evening of Easter Saturday there is a climatic mass in celebration of Christ’s Resurrection, with at midnight the lighting of the candles with the Eternal Flame: ‘Hristós Anésti’ (Christ has risen); ‘Alithós Anésti’ (Indeed He has). It’s a magical moment, with thousands of lit candles followed by the burning of Judas, where a giant fire is lit in front of the church, accompanied by fire crackers.

Easter Sunday is the end of the Lenten fast. There are celebrations, most likely in the countryside, with lots of good food, good company, wine and music.

Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin
This feast, on August 15, is abundantly celebrated in Mohos with music and dance, wine and food.

Political events

25th of March – Commemoration of the beginning of the Independence War

28th of October – Όhi Day’ (‘No-Day’), commemoration of Metaxas’ refusal to allow Italian troops free passage through Greece during World War II.

17th of November – Commemoration of ‘polytechnío’: the bloody suppression of a students’ uprising at the Athenian Polytechnic University by the military Junta in 1973.

Cultural events

Cretan Delights – gastronomic happening
Cretan cuisine at its finest! The women of the village cook for their life and show off with the most delicious local dishes and trifling desserts. Of course all culinary delights are consumed together, accompanied by Cretan music and dance.

World Tourism Day, Sep. 27th
World tourism Day is a highly popular cultural event that takes place every year on September 27. The local population is very dedicated to introduce its visitors/ guests into the Cretan culture. This is, of course, accompanied by local culinary specialities, Cretan music with a lot of dancing and, last but not least, a good mood!