...XENIOS ZEUS NEVER DIED...
CELEBRATIONS - FESTIVALS
In Chania they celebrate all year round. The best-known celebrations are the festivals in honor of the patron saint of each village. To these are added a number of anniversaries of national interest, such as the Battle of Crete every May and the national holidays on October 28 and March 25. Product exhibitions, public markets, etc. are organized. Of particular interest are the celebrations during the production of tsikoudia, wine, or the picking of cherries, oranges, chestnuts, etc. All these celebrations are accompanied by traditional dances and songs and rich food and drinks are offered.
In addition to the Summer Festival of the city of Chania, with theater performances, musical evenings, art exhibitions and concerts, rich and interesting cultural events are organized in Chania and the surrounding area by the agencies, cultural associations, institutions and by private initiatives during the whole year. The "Venizelia" international sports competitions are also organized and the Maritime Week is celebrated.
CULTURE, LITERATURE AND ARTS
The literature and music of the Minoan and Mycenaean era (2800 BC-1100 BC) in Crete are unknown to us. However, the settlement on the hill of Kastelli of Chania, especially during the Late Minoan period (1550 BC - 1400 BC) with its rich and well-maintained residences shows a high level of culture. As far as painting is concerned, we don't have wall paintings, but clay urns with painterly representations and a compass with flying birds and a guitar were found, coming from local workshops, showing a naive art but with strong lines. With the dominance of the Dorians in Crete (1100 p. X) life is organized in a military manner and music and poetry are placed at the service of the state. Worship hymns, group dances and serious and stern chants that express the ideals of Doric society and education dominate. Among the poets and musicians of the time, the ancient sources save us the name of Nymphaeus from Kydonia who, according to Aelianos, was invited by the Lacedaemonians in difficult circumstances to help Sparta. In the visual arts there is a flowering during the 8th and 7th BC. X. century. In sculpture, the so-called "Daedalic" rhythm develops with Eastern influence and with austerity and priestly attitude of figures. Ancient tradition mentions the sculptor Aristocles from Cydonia as one of the most famous "Daedalic" sculptors. Later (of the 5th century) is Chrysilaos, also from Kydonia, a contemporary of Pericles, whose statue he made. We get an idea of this work from later copies-busts, where the Athenian politician is depicted in all his imposingness and spirituality. Chrysilas rivaled Pheidias and Polykleitos. Both artists from Kydonia worked outside Crete. The heyday of the cities of the island coincides with the Hellenistic times (323 BC). The ruins of Kydonia, Aptera, Elyros, Syia, Lissos, Falasarna, Kissamos, Polyrnia, Tarra and other centers of the prefecture of Chania give us a picture of that era. In the Archaeological Museum of Chania, we also have sculptural works characteristic of the Hellenistic period: a tombstone with the noble sadness of the Attic reliefs of the 4th century, a graceful statuette of the type of Cnidia Aphrodite, a statue of Artemis from the sanctuary of Diktynna and a beautiful head of Tanagraia from Quince, as well as fine art jewelry and coins. Rianos from Kerea of Chania (according to others from Vienna near Gortyna) excelled in poetry during the 3rd century, who wrote verses about the labors of Herakles in the "Heraklias" epic. In the Palatine Anthology, ten love letters of his have been preserved. Also mentioned are Chrysostomos from Tarra (2nd century BC), who defeated the Pythians, and Lucillos from the same city, commentator of Apollonius of Rhodes. In the Roman era, the prosperity of the Cretan cities continued. Public works are built (roads, bridges, aqueducts, baths, amphitheatres for animal fights and duels, temples) and the worship of eastern deities as well as emperors and (the goddess) Rome is introduced. Impressive is the water tank of Aptera, which is divided by arched walls into three compartments. The mosaic floors of the Archaeological Museum of Chania belong to Roman times. The representation of the dancing Hours from Kissamos (2nd century AD), Dionysus and Ariadne in Naxos also from Kydonia (3rd century AD) with symmetry of forms and natural movements and the imposing head of Hadrian from the Diktynaio sanctuary are representative examples of the art of the time. From a literary point of view, however, the Roman rule does not seem to have created anything of note, since the only poet we know is Mesomedes from eastern Crete. With the prevalence of Christianity and until the 6th century AD, large basilicas were built in Kasteli Kydonias, in Syia , in Lissos in Finika of Sfakia and in other cities. Some important churches that are still preserved belong to the second Byzantine period (961 - 1204 AD). such as Ai-kyr Giannis between Alikianos and Koufos, cruciform inscribed with an 11th century dome and the circular church (rotunda) in the Bishopric of Kissamos. Regarding the literary and artistic movement of the Byzantine period (330 - 823 and 961 - 1204 AD) and the Arab period (823 - 961 AD) our knowledge is scanty. During the Venetian period it continued in the villages of the prefecture of Chania the building of small churches and their "history". The oldest known wall-painting church is Agios Ioannis on the Pillar of Apokoronou (1271-1280). At the beginning the frescoes are of a provincial level, but during the 14th and 15th centuries we have a clear improvement with influences from Constantinople, Mistra and Nicaea. In addition to the multitude of anonymous artists there are also hagiographers who left us their names, such as Ioannis Pagomenos who painted murals in addition to churches in the prefecture from 1313 to 1347, G. Provatopoulos and Mastrachas. When the Venetian policy changes in view of the Turkish danger, and a rapprochement is made between the Venetian and the Cretan elements, the cultural development of Crete begins, which culminates in the first half of the 17th century with the Cretan Renaissance. Many Cretans study in Italy, great literary texts are written and published (the poet of "Zenos", according to Styliano Alexiou, is probably from Chania) and painting is more developed with elements of Western art. Impressive buildings, public and private, are being built in Chania. , so much so that a 17th century Italian traveler reported that the city was not very different from Venice. The Englishman Wil. Lithgow counted in 1632 ninety-seven Chania "palaces". In 1539, the fortification of the city by Michele Sammichelli begins, the harbor is cleaned and the youth centers are built. Orthodox monasteries are being built or renovated: the Holy Trinity of Tzagaroli and the monastery of Gouvernetou in Akrotiri, the monastery of Gonia in Kissamos, the monastery of Chrysopigi near Chania. The monasteries became centers of education, manuscript copying and libraries. At the end of the 16th century, the Academy of Sterili was founded in Chania, after the Academies of Heraklion and Rethymno, whose members studied the works of the Italian Renaissance and were influenced by it. Personalities such as the metropolitan of Philadelphia (Venice) Gabriel Severus, the brothers Jeremiah and Lavrentios Tzagaroli, the doctor Ioannis Hartofylakas, Metropolitan Fasidonis etc. They are recognized and respected by the Orthodox and the Venetians. In the first half of the 12th century, important portable icon painters lived and created in Chania, such as the monk Ambrosios Emporos, the hieromonk Nilos, the abbot of Chrysopigi Filotheos Skoufos, the priest Emmanuel Skordilis, Theodoros Poulakis, the monk Parthenios, Konstantinos Palaiokapas , etc. Most of them with the occupation of the city by the Turks in 1645 will leave for the Ionian Islands or Venice where they will continue their art. In addition to the hagiographers, many scholars who excel outside Crete also leave Chania, such as Zacharias Skordilis, Konstantinos Palaiokapas (synonym of the painter), Frangiskos Skoufos, author of a work on rhetoric, Aloisios (Ambrosios) Gradenigos, editor of "Erofilis" in 1676, Nikolaos Drimytinos, publisher of "Voskopoula" in 1627, Ioannis Mattheos Karyofyllis et al. The first two centuries of the Turkish occupation were centuries of spiritual darkness for Crete, where folk poetry continued to develop, with mandinades, root rhymes and historical rhymes. Among the rhymes of the time, the most valuable are "The song of Daskalogiannis" (1771) by barbas Pantzelios and "The song of Alidakis" (1774) also by Sfakianos Giorgis Pateros. From the middle of the 19th century, a beginning of intellectual life can be observed in Crete, which is mainly directed towards the study of folk culture ("Cretan hymns after couplets and proverbs" (1876) by Antonio Giannaris) and the history of the island ("History of Sfakia" ( 1888) by Grigorio Papadopetrakis). At the end of the century, the painter Ioannis Stavrakis stands out in the visual field. With the establishment of the Cretan State in 1898, the current of neoclassicism in architecture also came to Chania and intellectual life developed in the capital of free Crete. Many newspapers and various magazines are published, schools are established with doubling of education expenses, the Philological Association "Chrysostomos" is founded (1899) with a great library and activities in many fields and the popularist association "Solomos" (1909), are published "The Cretan War" by Bunialis by the later bishop Agathangelos Xirouhakis (1908) and "History of Crete" by Vassiliou Psilakis (1909) and many other books including the first book edition in Greece of "Crime and Punishment" by Dostoyevsky translated by Stelios Haritakis (1912). Newspapers arrive regularly from Athens and Europe, magazines and books in Greek and foreign languages. Troupes and opera groups from the Greek capital, Paris and Italian cities give performances. With the union with Greece (1913), Chania changed from a state capital to a provincial town. However, even during the interwar period (1919-1940) they still show a remarkable intellectual movement. Kondylakis remains in the city for a while, where he publishes "First Love" (1919). The Historical Archive of Crete (1920), the Odeon of Chania (1923) and the "Association for the Promotion of Fine Arts in Crete" (1924) are founded. In the literary life of the city, during the 1920s, the prose writer, playwright and musician Manolis Skouludis, who also publishes the magazine "Rotokritos", takes the lead. Nikolaos Tomadakis remained in Chania as director of the Historical Archive from 1930 to 1946, devoting himself, alongside the organization of the archive, to philological and historical research and studies. The poets Manolis Kanelis and Giorgos Mylonoyiannis are also from Chania, who live and publish in Athens, while the poet Aggelos Kalokairinos remains in Chania. In 1922, Alexis Minotis made his first theatrical appearance in "Chrysostomos", as a leading dancer in "Oedipus the tyrant", with the Veaki troupe, and later Manos Katrakis, also Chaniotis, stood out in the Athenian theater. The Kalitsounakides brothers excel as university professors, Dimitrios at A.S.O.E.E. (1923-1959) and Ioannis at the Philosophical School (1924-1948). Well-known Western-style hagiographers during the interwar period were Georgios Polakis and Dimitrios Kokotsis, who also dealt with secular painting (the second gave us strong portraits of old Cretans and scenes of rural life). The painter Florentini Kaloutsi and her younger siblings Georgios Gerontidis or Gerontakis and Aglaia Kyrmizaki lived in Chania, while two other important painters, Andreas Georgiadis and Errikos Frantziskakis, rose to prominence in Athens. During the second half of the 20th century, the Mediterranean was founded in Chania Agricultural Institute of Chania (M.A.I.H.), the Polytechnic of Crete and intellectual institutions, cultural and scientific associations and unions see the light, the most important of which are the Orthodox Academy of Crete in Kolymbari, the Theater Company of Crete which is developing in DIPE.THE.K., the Historical, Folklore and Archaeological Society of Crete (ILAEK), the "Agia Sophia" Foundation in Apokoronas, the Association of Philologists of the Prefecture of Chania, the Union of Intellectual Creators of the Prefecture of Chania, the Center for Mediterranean Architecture (K.A.M.) the National Foundation for Research and Studies "Eleftherios K. Venizelos" the Municipal Cultural Enterprise of Chania, the Municipal Art Gallery of Chania, while the Philological Association "Chrysostomos", which, among others, has twice organized the International Critological Conference, and the Chania Conservatory continue their activities. The Chania Choir, directed by the musician Giannis Mendzelopoulos, is also active in the Chania Conservatory, while the vocal shape "Kantilena" by the musician Giorgos Kaloutsis. Chaniotes are the music composer Mikis Theodorakis, the pianist Aliki Vatikiotis and the actors Eleni Nenedakis, Giorgos Partsalakis and Maria Tzompanaki. Two young pianists, Afroditi Mitsotaki and Nikos Perakis, make sure promises for the future.Writers from Chania with panhellenic recognition live and work in Athens: the poet Victoria Theodorou, the poet and playwright Dimitris Kakavelakis and the prose writers Maro Douka, Maro Vamvounaki, Alkyoni Papadaki, Ioanna Karystiani and Cleopatra Prifti.
Source: Prefecture of Crete