The cultural experience of Dimitria

Thessaloniki, the second largest city of Greece was first established in 316 BC and was the second most important city of the Byzantine Empire next to Constantinople. It is here where Apostle Paul first brought the message of Christianity, and where Saint Dimitrios, the holy patron of the city, also lived and died.

On the occasion of his name day on the 26th of October, one of the most established cultural festivals in Europe takes place in northern Greece.  Called Dimitria the festival will last for 3 months, presenting the very best in music, drama, dance and visual arts!

Apart from the famous artists that take a starring role in the festival’s events, much emphasis is also put on fresh, young artists: Greek or foreign talented, new artists have the opportunity to present their work to the art-loving public. Those events happen in the dreamy outdoor setting of Thessaloniki’s streets and squares, creating a unique atmosphere of an “open-air celebration”!

Modern and classic art coexist harmonically at Dimitria Festival. Don’t miss an exceptional double tribute to Chopin and John Lennon in one and only concert featuring works by both artists. As well, Toulouse Lautrec is on exhibition, Xenakis gives us “a lesson in tradition”, and Tetsis exhibits his works also. Through 75 venues and a variety of retrospectives, people representing various countries, civilizations and trends come together to celebrate art!     

Those festivities of ancient times were a great pole of attraction for plenty of merchants, creating a kind of “trade fair” in the city. Ships and caravans carrying cargo, such as food, silk, gold and silver were arriving in hundreds in Thessaloniki, whereas tradesmen from all over the world would camp outside the walls creating a small, noisy settlement at the outskirts of the city!

The faithful Christians formed a significant part of this contrasting crowd; on the name day of Saint Dimitrios, pilgrims were participating in religious ceremonies and processions, creating a mystic atmosphere of devout concentration.

For that firsthand experience of entertainment and culture Greek style journey to Thessaloniki this autumn to escape reality through art.

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