Kefalonia island a crossroad between East and West, inevitably suffered the domination of many western and eastern nations over the centuries. It’s widespread opinion that, all over Greece, the culture of Ionian islands (Corfu, Lefkas, Kefalonia and Zante) is the most sophisticated in relation to art, music, literature and architecture.
Kefalonia could be considered as a cultural garden, since it shows traces from all those cultures present on the island throughout the centuries. Kefalonian’s were not sterile receivers of Western influences, but artists and writers took foreign elements and mixed them with their popular features. Kefalonia has a very rich cultural heritage and music plays an important role in the customs and traditions of the island.
The locals honour their cultural roots by organising events based on traditional Kefalonian music, dances and mainly their spirit!
The European music day is celebrated at 21 of June in the last couple of years with great success in Argostoli and Lixouri with an open free festival of local musicians and music groups are performing in different parts of the towns.
The International Music Festival in Argostoli takes place at the end of August and features concerts with several contemporary Greek artists and other foreign musicians in different parts of the city.
Barcarole, is a one of the most impressive summer events, that you shouldn’t miss. The beautiful village of Assos is the perfect set to come and hear the traditional Ionian serenades, called ‘kantades’ in Greek, most of those are glorifying love. Musicians and singers, serenaders, get in their boats, holding guitars, violins and mandolins and sing at the center of Assos bay. You can sit on the coast of the port or in one of the cafes or restaurants to enjoy them under the lighted Assos castle and the fireworks!
The Robolla wine festivals takes place usually in the third weekend of August to celebrate the new production of local wine. The festival is organized in Valsamata and Fragata villages and concentrates thousands of visitors. There is free robola wine, food and dancing till the early hours.
May 21st, the Union of the Ionian Islands is a big festival of great historical significance, taking place in Argostoli to commemorate this important date, when the Ionian islands were officially unified in 1864.
The Carnival is celebrated with a big parade a day before the start of Lent, in Argostoli and Lixouri. The latter seems to have a bigger reputation. The residents are dressed as masquerades and either parade with their groups dancing or performing satirical sketches, or just participate on the celebration. At the end of the parade everybody gathers at the central square of Lixouri to dance and laugh. The themes of the masquerades and their parade vehicles are always deriving from political or social matters of the season.
Theatrical, Dance and music Festivals are announced every spring (stay tuned to find out)