The history of Skopelos is lost in the mists of time. Its traditions are uniquely united with the culture and religion in this particular place. They become part of the daily life of locals and tourists, with dozens of celebrations, events and festivals throughout the year.
Below you will find some of the festivals and traditions of Skopelos.
Feast of Saint Reginos
Saint Reginos lived in the 4th century AD and is the patron Saint of Skopelos Island. When the emperor Julian the Apostate persecuted the Christians, Agios (Saint) Reginos fought for his faith and the faith of the people of Skopelos island. He was tortured and finally beheaded. His feast day, February 25, is a local holiday on the island. On the eve of the feast, a procession of the holy relic of the Saint takes place from the homonymous monastery to the church of the Nativity of Christ (Chora Skopelos). The inhabitants reverently watch the vigil, while many spend the night in the monastery (at the outskirts of Chora Skopelos). On the day of the feast, after the Divine Liturgy, they celebrate with locum candies.
Plum Festival of Skopelos
At the end of August, the Municipality of Skopelos organizes the plum festival. It is a festival celebrated with traditional music, roasted plums and wine. A local variety of plum grows on the island, which is the basis for many sweets and dishes. This variety is considered to be tastier than the commercial plums. Avgato (egg-shaped) is the most famous spoon sweet of Skopelos and its name comes from the shape of the plum (Avgo = Egg).
“Diamantis Paleologos” Traditional Dance Festival
A festival that has been established on the island and unites bands and dancers from all over the world. It’s a big celebration with over 7,500 spectators that takes place in Skopelos every summer (usually in August). Along with the dance performances, dozens of seminars, workshops, guided tours and exhibitions invite you to get to know the culture and rich tradition of the island.
The Traditional Dance Festival “Diamantis Palaiologos” is organized by the Urban Non-Profit Company “Plegma” in collaboration with the Region of Thessaly. It has received a Silver Award at the Tourism Awards 2017 in the festival category, as well as at the Best City Awards 2016 in the culture category. In addition, it has been the subject of research and studies for many Greek and foreign universities and has been presented as a case study in numerous scientific conferences. The vision of the organizers and the large group of volunteers is the establishment of the Festival as an open celebration that will bring together dancers and musicians from all around the world and the promotion of Skopelos island as a epicenter of popular culture and folklore tradition.
The carnival customs have their roots in the ancient traditions, in the Peparithian wine and in the feasts of the god Dionysus. The carnival season lasts for three weeks starting on Fat Thursday, with masqueraded groups of people wandering the alleys of Skopelos.
On the last Sunday of the Carnival, the locals dress in the traditional costumes and go dancing around the whole town of Skopelos. They satirize characters, dress a man as a bride, sing obscenely and vulgarly, have fun, and everyone offers milk pudding, rice pudding and wine. In the evening they go down to the port and beach to continue the celebration.
Another carnival custom is “Trata“. Masqueraded men carry a boat made of reeds and wood, the Trata. Along the way they sing, drink and tease everyone around. They hold fishing nets and ‘catch’ passers-by. The party lasts until the early morning hours. Finally, on Clean Monday, the locals paint a cross on their foreheads and hang branches of Hyacinths on their ears. They celebrate the day by eating traditional food and drinking plenty of wine.
“Spyrou Skopelos Experience” as the dominant hotel company in the area, invites you to get to know the beautiful green island of the Sporades and its unique culture and traditions.