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The Greek Festival Index Site - A Guide to Greek Festivals

Greek Festivals in August 2014:

St. John the Divine GOC, Wheeling, WV.   30 - August 2,   2014
Dormition of the Virgin Mary GOC, Winchester, VA.   16 - August 17,   2014
Holy Anarghroi GOC, Rochester, MN.   22 - August 24,   2014
Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Chucvh, Orange, CT.   29 - September 1,   2014
Sts. Anargyroi GOC, Marlborough, MA.   30 - September 1,   2014

Greek Festivals in September 2014:

Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Chucvh, Orange, CT.   29 - September 1,   2014
Sts. Anargyroi GOC, Marlborough, MA.   30 - September 1,   2014
St. Demetrios GOC, Union, NJ.   4 - September 7,   2014
Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Church, Staten Island, NY.   5 - September 14,   2014
Church of the Annunciation, Cranston, RI.   5 - September 7,   2014
Ladies Philoptochos of the Greek Orthodox Parish of Loudoun County, Sterling, VA.   6 - September 6,   2014
St. Demetrios GOC, Concord, CA.   12 - September 14,   2014
Saints Constantine & Helen GOC, Andover , MA.   13 - September 14,   2014
Holy Trinity GOC, Roanoke, VA.   19 - August 21,   2014
Holy Trinity GOC, Concord, NH.   20 - September 20,   2014
Saint Barbara GOC, Toms River, NJ.   26 - September 28,   2014

Greek Festivals in October 2014:

Annunciation GOC, Wilkes-Barre, PA.   2 - October 4,   2014
Orthodox Church of Saint Matthew, Columbia, MD.   4 - October 5,   2014
St Nicholas GOC 43rd Annual Festival, Flushing, NY.   9 - October 12,   2014
Holy Trinity, St Augustine, FL.   10 - October 12,   2014

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A Greek Festival is a Tradition of Culture and Entertainment
Visit a Greek festival for a taste of Greek food, Greek music, Greek culture, Greek dancing, great family fun and entertainment. At Greek Festivals you will typically find:

  • Greek gourmet food
  • Greek folk music - usually performed by Greek bands
  • Cultural exhibitions including artifacts from Greece and dances performed in costumes of old tradition
  • Dancing for the public under Greek tunes.

Additionally, and depending on local arrangements there are raffles and shopping for Greek jewelry, books, music, spices, etc. Many places also organize running races and other outdoor activities. A greek Festival is an event that you should not miss! And do not worry, even if you can't dance syrtaki or hasapiko you will still feel at home! Use this directory of Greek festivals to find a Greek festival near you. Have fun!


 

How are Greek Festivals typically organized:

Greek Festivals are typically organized by the local communities of Greek Orthodox Churches. A Greek Orthodox Church, beyond a place of religious worship, is usually the center of cultural activities of the local Greek community. There is usually a committee of volunteers within the community that is formed particularly for the purpose of organizing the Greek Festival. This organizing effort takes months of preparation and nearing the days of the Greek Festival many more volunteers are mobilized. The highly noted in these festival days are the numerous ladies (and often gentlemen) who are known in the community for their mastery and skill in cooking traditional Greek food. This is why the food at Greek Festivals has a distinct home made taste and presentation. Many of these volunteer cooks often use recipes that have their origin to their grand-grand parents and are characteristic of particular geographic origins in Greece.

Another usual attraction is the demonstration of traditional Greek folk dances performed by either the young of the local Greek Sunday school hosted by the Church, or by local members of the community who form a dance group as a hobby. These dances are demonstrated in traditional attires that again are reminiscent of various parts of Greece in old eras. For example the attires that have their origin in the Greek islands are characterized by some type of plush pants, the "vraka" because these people were riders of the sea. The attires that had origin in the mainland often were characterized by a special white pleated skirt, known as the "foustanella", legs covered by tights, and the shoes with the fuzz ball on the tow tip, known as the "tsarouhia". The purpose of the foustanella was to leave the legs completely free to run like the wind and hike on the rocky mountain grounds. This attire is characteristic of the 1800's when these people lived in the mountains constantly on the run and fighting for freedom. The most elaborate however are the women's attires whose colors, style, and detail present a great variety particularly among the various islands of origin.

There is often a Greek band that is commissioned to play Greek music during the festival - depending on the local resources. They usually play traditional folk tunes as well as contemporary Greek music. There's free dancing under these tunes for anyone who likes to try. Greek dances are mostly performed in groups that hold each other by hands or by the shoulders, so it is not difficult to follow even if you don't know what you are doing; the others in the group will lead you. The steps are rather easy to pick up once you get in the spirit. The chain of people holding in a dancing group is rather long and it is common for anyone who wishes to get in to jump in just about anywhere in the chain. So it really takes a few people in the whole chain and at the lead position who really know what they are doing to successfully lead a group. So if you wish to try do not feel intimidated, just go up to a group, jump in the chain even if you do not know anyone in it, and follow their lead.

It is also common at Greek festivals to find merchants whose job is to go to Greek festivals and sell Greek artifacts that are imported from Greece, such as souvenirs, jewelry, pottery, little statues, posters, pictures, music, etc.

Greek festivals are organized by local people and rely on volunteers who get involved out of their love for culture and traditional spirits and that shows in the distinct presentation and feel of the overall activity. Because of that, a Greek festival is a unique experience that always leaves a satisfying feeling of joy and togetherness, let alone the ultimately satisfied taste buds... If you can make the time to go to one, chances are that you will love it!!! Before you go, make sure to practice some basic Greek vocabulary good for survival at Greek festivals.

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