August in Kefalonia – a month full of festivals and cultural events

Most Greeks take their holidays in August. They leave behind the big cities and usually return to their home villages. Thus, the island fills up with many Kefalonites who are happy to be back home with relatives, friends and neighbours. This annual reunion gives them a good reason to celebrate. Every village organises a feast where people eat, drink and dance together. In the larger towns of Kefalonia, such as Argostoli, Sami, Lixouri and Poros, the municipalities prepare a cultural programme with daily events. From concerts to art exhibitions, to cultural presentations and folklore dance performances, there is something for everyone. These events are also very popular with our guests, who have the opportunity to immerse themselves in local life allowing them to experience, first hand, Kefalonian culture.

What not to be missed!! The so-called “Varkaroles”, which are held in Argostoli and Lixouri. The local fishing boats are decorated with colourful fairy lights and while they sail past the harbour in parade, they delight the spectators on the pier with Kefalonian songs, the famous “Kantades”. An attraction highly recommended!   Another event that you should make a note of is August 15th. For the Greek Orthodox Church and for the people of Greece, August 15th celebrates the Assumption of Mary. On the eve of August 15th, lots of “Panigiri” take place. These are celebrations around the village squares where people eat, drink and dance together. Of course, it goes without saying that everyone is cordially invited!

But for the Kefalonites, an even bigger festival is on the 16th August. The island celebrates their patron saint, Agios Gerasimos. His healing powers are well known throughout the orthdox community and believers from all over the world come to pay their respects during this significant holy time.   During the same period, another phenomenon takes place in Kefalonia, which for the majority of the local population borders on a miracle. Every year small, non-poisonous snakes appear in the small church of Markopoulo and Arginia in the south of the island, bearing a cross mark on their heads. This only happens in these churches during this religious holiday. One could argue that in Kefalonia you also experience miracles!   Regardless of the miracles, the festivals and cultural offerings on hand, Kefalonia is worth visiting in August. The summer is in full swing, swimming in the sea is a perfect way to cool down and the island’s residents and guests enjoy the colourful hustle and bustle of neighbourhood life. So immerse yourself in this special month and experience Kefalonia at its best!

Traditional boats that are decorated for the "Varkaroles" event
A festival "panigiri" in a village square during August
Litany for Saint Gerasimos

Oh yes, one more thing: If you are lucky, you will experience something very special in August: the famous August full moon, which is particularly large and bright. Another reason to visit Kefalonia in August!

Just before the August full moon rises

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