Messinia – Tradition

There are ancient findings in every corner of Greece. Nowhere else, though, is there such a well-preserved ancient city like Messini. In many areas there are Byzantine and medieval castles, but not like those of Methoni and Koroni. Many cities in the country played an important role in the Greek Revolution. Few, however, gave it the impetus that Kalamata did. Few places in the world also keep the tradition as they do in Western Mani.

These and many more make up a versatile landscape, which paint the final picture of the culture of Messinia. Ruins of thousands of years, are scattered throughout the Messinian land, impressive vaulted tombs, the great Palace of Nestor, and even the tombs of the legendary Dioscuri in Kardamili. Museums are the best guardians of the culture of Messinia, places no visitor should miss. Historic monasteries, churches of a unique architecture and Byzantine monuments like Agios Charalambos in Kalamata, compose a significant part of the religious culture of the region.

The city of Kalamata is a “living” monument of the culture of Messinia, and it will win you over the moment you lay eyes on it: neoclassical buildings, the old town, the imposing castle, the railway station and many other places, each leaving its own sign on the face of the city. Niokastro in Pylos, the Castle of Kyparissia, the Monument to the Fallen Greeks in the battle of the island Sfaktiria, the Old Kardamili, the Vardia (“shift”) of Demetreons, and the impressive towers of West Mani, are all elements that make up the culture of Messinia and cause the admiration and interest of tens of thousands of visitors.

  • Ηandkerchief of Kalamata

    The famous Handkerchief of Kalamata, has its history of the 19th century, when Kalamata was a center of silk producing of Greek state.

  • Wine

    The cultivation of the vine in Messinia was prevalent since ancient times. Today the region produces excellent quality grapes that give fine wines.

  • War of darts

    The War of darts of Kalamata is one of the most impressive, noisy and "illuminated" Easter customs in Greece. It takes place on the afternoon of Easter Sunday.

  • Tomato and Onion Festival

    Tomato and Onion Festival is held every year, during the second half of August in the village of Metamorphosis in the area of Pylia.

  • The Wedding of Koutroulis

    The Wedding of Koutroulis revives every first Monday in Lent in Methoni in remembrance of actual event that took place in the 14th century and has remained as a proverbial expression.

  • The Liberation of Kalamata

    Every year on March 23rd in Kalamata they celebrate the liberation of the city from the Turks, with many events and representation of the occupation and liberation.

  • Sugria

    Sugria was the institution that allowed men from Mani to acquire a second wife if the legal wife could ont give birth children or gave birth only girls.

  • Sfela

    The sfela is a white cheese made from goat milk produced in the southern Peloponnese. It is also called "cheese of fire" because of the spiciness.

  • Roast pork

    The roast pork is very famous in the southern Peloponnese and has its roots in Messina and goes back to the Ottoman era.

  • Raisin

    Among the major products produced in Messinia is the Black Raisin from Korinthos. About 10,000 tones are produced per year and exported abroad.

  • Patria

    Patria in Mani was the family where only male members who had consanguinity, belonged.

  • Paths of the Olive Tree

    The Paths of the Olive Tree is a cultural journey that aims at the international promotion and exploitation of the valuable tree for the benefit of the oil producing areas.

  • Pasteli

    Messinia is known for pasteli, the traditional candy made with sesame and honey. The pastelis of Messinia and exported abroad.

  • Olives from Kalamata

    The olives from Kalamata is the most famous product of Messinia. They are distinguished for the cylindrical-conical shape and deep black shiny color.

  • Olive oil

    The olive oil of Messinia is of exceptional taste and unique quality known worldwide. Whole Messinia is a vast olive grove.

  • Messinian Feast

    The Messinian feast that starts on September 20th and lasts nine days is combined with the Descent of the Icon of Virgin Mary of the Monastery of Voulkano in Messini.

  • Makaronas

    Makaronas is a very old custom reviving in Pylos on Sunday before Clean Monday. The residents adjudicate an effigy of straw and burn it at the stake.

  • Litany

    The litany takes place on the second day after Easter in Mani, while it passes through the cemetery of the village along with the believers.

  • Lalaggia

    The Lalaggia of Messinia, the well-known pancakes, are made by many housewives. They are also offered during any kind of celebrations and events in the area.

  • International Dance Festival

    The International Dance Festival of Kalamata is held every July since 1995 and has been evolved into one of the most important events of its kind in Europe.

  • Horse Races

    The Horse races at Plati of Messinia take place every year on the day of the feast of Saint Georgios. It is custom revived since ottoman occupation with great participation.

  • Honey

    The Messinian honey is produced from the forests of firs, pines and various flowers of Greek flora. It is a 100% natural product with beneficial qualities for the body.

  • Hanging Old Lady Sikou

    Hanging of Old Lady Sikou is a custom revived every year on first Monday in Lent, in Carnival of Messini.

  • Gdikiomos

    The gdikiomos was the way of unjust retaliation to someone and was applied in Mani.

  • Fish Tsiliada

    The fish Tsiliada is a recipe that comes from Kalamata and combines sweet taste with salty.

  • Figs of Kalamata

    One of the typical products of Messini is fig of Kalamata, fresh or dried.

  • Festival of Edible Olive

    The Festival of Edible Olive is held every August in Trikorfo of Messinia with the participation of formulators of edible olives from all over Greece. The festival lasts two days.

  • Feast of Ypapanti

    The feast of Ypapanti is a great religious celebration in honor of "Our Lady Ypapanti," protector and patron of Kalamata. The festivities last for 14 days.

  • Feast of fig

    The Feast of fig takes place every August in Polylofo of Messinia. Many people honor this fruit which is one of the main crops of the village.

  • Feast of artichoke

    The Feast of Artichoke takes place every July since 1987 in the village Mikromani. It attracts many visitors to taste the artichoke in countless variations.

  • Custom of Fire

    Meta description The Custom of Fire that revives in Messini, is unique in Greece. Huge bonfires are lit in neighborhoods and a feast takes place around them.

  • Carnival of Nedousa

  • Carnival of Messini

    The Carnival of Messini is one of the most characteristic of Greece, as here, the festivities culminate on first Monday in Lent, rather than the last Sunday.

  • Carnival of Kalamata

    The Carnival of Kalamata attracts thousands of visitors. The focal point is Square of Georgios, where the parade ends.

  • Battle of Ligoudista

    The Battle of Ligoudista was held on March 27 1821 at Chora Messenias and was another important victory for the rebellious Greeks.

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