The August Full Moon is celebrated in Greece as it is nowhere else. All throughout Greece, there is an air of anticipation, as people venture out into the heat of the night to enjoy very special activities, illuminated by a fat golden moon.
Under the direction of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, the General Directorate of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage goes all out, making the most inspiring and historic sites of Greece the venues for a variety of cultural events.
Here is a selection of a few of the most exciting things going on all over the country:
August Full Moon Celebrations Throughout Greece
If you have never visited Nafplion – a beautiful coastal city of the Peloponnese — this would be the time. The city’s colorful Venetian charm is crowned by the Palamidi Fortress. One of Greece’s best loved performers, Dionisis Savvopoulos — will be giving a performance.
The Archaeological site of Ancient Corinth will be open to the public from 20:00 – 24:00, and will host a concert by the performer Nikos Xydakis.
This region of Central Macedonia is particularly rich in history, known to lovers of history best for the town of Vergina, site of the tomb of Phillip II (father of Alexander the Great) and one of the most exciting excavations in recent memory. The museum of the Royal Tombs of Aigai (“Aigai” is the name of the royal capital of ancient Macedonia) is one of the finest in Greece — visiting it is a deeply emotional experience. Here in the Museum’s garden, beginning at 21:30, an eight piece ensemble from the Philharmonic Orchestra of Loutraki will play a program of works by Greek composers.
The Temple of Poseidon at Sounio is one of Greece’s absolute musts. It is here that the Aegean Sea got its very name, from King Aegis who leapt from this cliff in despair, thinking his son Theseus had been killed by the Minotaur. The magnificent Temple to Poseidon built during the Golden Age of Athens in 444 – 440 BC has been a beacon of welcome to millennia of seafarers. Philhellenes loved to visit- in fact, Lord Byron has his name carved on one of the temples (and he’s not alone- it’s scratched with much illustrious graffiti from past centuries) and is also fabled to be the best site to see the sunset. This is a unique opportunity to see it in the light of the moon- the site will be open until midnight.
The National Archaeological Museum will be open until midnight with a whole host of events, including lectures on the current exhibition “The Amenities of the Time” (20:15 – 21:15), a theatrical lecture by students of the “Delos” drama school with the texts of Ancient Greek writers (21:30-22:15, in the patio), and a performance in collaboration with the Greek Guitar Club (22:30-23:30). The exhibition areas of the museum will be open until 23:45 (last entrance 23:30)
This most intriguing and atmospheric of archaeological sites will be the setting for a contemplative evening of music performed by a theatrical orchestra, entitled “Music that makes for silence and tears”, by Dimitri Marami. The Archaeological site will be open to the public from 20:00 to 24:00
The Islands too will be alive with moonlight activity:
In the Lassithi prefecture at Crete’s eastern side, there is a beautiful Venetian Monastery in the town of Etia- the Villa de Mezzo. Here in the courtyard, you can see a performance of “IONIKO- Songs of Love in times of Refuge” by the composer Dimitris Sfakianakis, with the musical ensemble “Chroes” – an ensemble of voices and an orchestra.
The Holy Cave of the Apocalypse is the very site where the Evangelist John wrote the Book of Revelation. In the outdoor theater, there will be an evening of Piano music.
In the romance of the Old Venetian Fortress of Corfu, an evening of music will be presented. The fortress will be open to the public from 21:00 – 23:00
The Castle of Mytilene, known here also as the Gattalusi fortress, is one of the Mediterranean’s very largest (over 60 acres), much of it well preserved. It provides a fascinating setting for a contemporary event: a 3D video installation as part of the Eyes Walk Digital Festival of 2018, from 20:00 – 24:00
The Archaeological Museum of Paros will be staging a musical event appropriately inspired by the moon herself: “Woman Full Moon: Emblematic figures of Myths and History” in collaboration with the Conservatory Mythodia. 21:00 – midnight.
The Archaeological Museum of Mykonos in Mykonos Town will host a musical event with the theme “Thalassa” (“the sea”), with the participation of Evi Mazi. The program is organized through the cooperation of KDEPPA of Mykonos, the Association of the Friends of Delos, Rhenia, and the Association of Women of Mykonos
What do you have planned for this special summer night?