Modern Athens is an important European city, teeming with life. The Acropolis is one of the most popular sites in the world, while the history and culture of Greece combined with the nightlife, generally mild climate, traditional cuisine and renowned Greek hospitality are just some of what Athens has to offer.
Visiting the cradle of democracy is an unforgettable experience.
Modern Athens was born in 1834, when the city was declared the capital of the newly formed Greek state.
Athens is built in the basin of Attica between the mountains of Parnitha, Penteli and Ymittos and near the Saronic Gulf.
For centuries its important geographical position and mild climate were the main reasons why people chose to live here. During its very long history, Athens developed a brilliant culture and its contribution to world heritage is invaluable.
Today Athens, with its five million inhabitants, has all the characteristics of a modern metropolis but has kept its unique ancient atmosphere, an atmosphere that is reflected in the Athenians and their way of life.
Athens follows the changes of the 21st century, accelerating its pace, but it is certain that the memories of its precious past have not been lost.
Every December, under the auspices of the municipality of Aspropyrgos, the cultural events 'Thriasia' are held with the participation of choirs, festivals of traditional dances, theatrical events and concerts. Every July, on the eve of the feast of Agia Marina and on the days of the feasts of Agia Paraskevi and Agios Panteleimon, local celebrations are held whose history dates back to the middle of the 19th century.
Solemn celebrations are held for the city's patron Saint George (April 23), Saints Constantine and Helen (May 21), the 12 Apostles (June 29) and Zoodocho Pigi (April 16). Since 1975 and every September, the cultural events "Aeschylia" have been held in the area of the old KRONOS factory.
Aeschylus, the creator par excellence of Attic tragedy, was born in 525 BC. in Elefsina. He fought at Marathon and in the battles against Xerxes, presented tragedies for the first time in the 7th Olympiad (500-487 BC), while he was awarded for the first time in 484 BC. He accepted Hiero's invitation and went to Syracuse between 472 and 468 BC. He returned to Athens and left again in 458 BC. for Gela of Sicily, where he died in 456/455 BC. Aeschylus, without questioning the existence or justice of the Gods, drew inspiration for his works from the relationships of the Gods with each other, but also with humans. He wrote about ninety tragedies, of which seven survive. With his plays, the Attic tragedy went beyond the narrow limits of a local theatrical event and became the greatest gift of Athens to the world.
The city's official holiday is the feast of the local Cathedral of the Annunciation on March 25, which is followed by a brilliant ritual with parades and traditional dances. Other traditional events are the kouloumas on Clean Monday and the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary on August 15. Important cultural initiatives are taken by the association 'Friends of Elato'.
Every September, a series of cultural events are held under the title 'Zervonikoleia', in honor of the hero chieftain Nikolaos Rokas. N. Rokas was born in Kountoura in 1780 and, because he was left-handed, his Cretan comrades called him Zervonikola, a name by which he became known and is mentioned in the history of the 1821 revolution.
Every Easter Monday in the morning the 'Rousalia' custom is revived and on Easter Tuesday the 'Festival of Trata', whose history refers to the period of the Turkish rule when the Megarites asked for permission to build a church. Their permission was given on the condition that its construction be completed in one night. Indeed, after great mobilization, the church was built in one night, it was named Saint John the Dancer and is celebrated on Easter Tuesday with the 'Festival of Trata'.
On the evening of May Day Eve, the custom of May is revived, during which the engaged girls and their friends dress up in 'Katefenies' (Megarite traditional costume) and start for the groom's house. A blackbird accompanies the ΄Katefenias΄. The bride-to-be holds a large and rich Mayan wreath, the friends a basket of Easter eggs and pretzels, while the groom holds a bottle of wine - all intended for the groom's mother. On their way to the groom's house, always walking on the right side of the road (so that everything goes right at the wedding), they pass in front of the Mayor and a committee of the Municipality, which awards the best appearance (uniforms, wreath, baskets). When they reach the groom's house, the mother-in-law empties the basket and exchanges its contents for gifts for the bride and money for the wedding.
Every January, the Epiphany is solemnly celebrated, while every summer from the beginning of June to the middle of September, as part of the effort to preserve traditions and cultural heritage, the 'Musical August' events are organized with musical, theatrical, visual, sports events and commemorations for Asia Minor. The 'fisherman's evening', which takes place every summer with great success, is also well known.
In Oinoi, in June on the day of the Holy Spirit, the festival of the Holy Trinity takes place and in August the 'Festival of Wine'. In the chapel of Panagia on August 15, the 'Panagitsa-Mariza Landscaping Association' holds a festive festival, as does the 'Agios Dimitrios Association' during the celebration of the old church of Agios Dimitrios.
Every December, under the auspices of the municipality, the cultural events 'Thriasia' are held with the participation of choirs, festivals of traditional dances, theatrical events and concerts. Every July, on the eve of the feast of Agia Marina and on the days of the feasts of Agia Paraskevi and Agios Panteleimon, local celebrations are held whose history dates back to the middle of the 19th century.
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou