Town festivals and festive events and are an important part of our popular culture. Many events are organized throughout the year. At Cavo Olympo we want to offer our guests a unique approach to their holiday so that they can get to know the culture of our region.
Spring – Summer
On Good Thursday in Kontariotissa at the Monastery of St. Ephraim, you can observe the ritual of “Ovrios”, the burning of an effigy of Judas Iscariot. It commemorates the punishment of Judas for his treachery to Jesus Christ.
On Good Friday you can partake in the processions of the Epitaphs of each of the town’s three churches in Litochoro while listening to the psalms of the famous women's choirs.
The 15th Olympus Marathon will take place this year on June 23rd. Olympus Marathon is a unique trail running event held annually on Mount Olympus. The route revives the pilgrimage of ancient Greeks to Mount Olympus, where they ascended every year to honor and sacrifice to Zeus. The race starts each year on the last Sunday of June from the sacred city of Dion, at sunrise and renowned athletes retrace history and myth across the paths of Mount Olympus.
The annual Olympus Festival is the region’s top summer event. It’s a festival of music and theatre and a major cultural event in Greece that dates back about 2.300 years. Theater and dance performances, musical concerts, archaeological speeches, philosophical walks, and exhibitions are part of the festivals program, which begins in July and goes on till the end of August.
The festival’s aim is to provide both, the local population and tourists, with cultural entertainment and promote the contact between different cultures and tourism. The festival is supported by the Greek Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Dion as well as by local authorities in Pieria.
All of the above mentioned events are hosted in Pieria’s most historical venues: the Ancient Theater of Dion, the Castle of Platamon, the Archaeological Park of Dion, Agioneri and the Center of the Mediterranean Mosaics of Dion, the Museum of Natural History of the Olympus National Park, and the ancient city of Leivithra.
The construction of the Ancient Theater of Dion dates back to the Hellenistic era in the 3rd century B.C. and has a capacity of approximately 4.000 spectators.
King Archelaus of Macedon who ruled at the time was known as a man of culture. He extended cultural and artistic contacts with southern Greece and held a nine-day festival in honor of the Nine Pieric Muses. He hosted poets, musicians, painters, and tragedians, including Euripides, the great poet and tragedian of classical Athens, who wrote his tragedies Archelaus and The Bacchae while in Macedon.
Our front desk staff will be happy to assist you with programs and ticket reservations for the upcoming festival.
In July, the Municipality Summer takes place over a period of 10 days. It’s organized by the Municipality of Litochoro with choirs and dance groups. Another important event is the Marine Week, which takes place every two years in the Litochoro Park.
The Olympia Athletic Games take place in August, with track and street races in the Litochoro Municipal Stadium.
Autumn – Winter
The Epiphany (January 6th) revives around Litochoro the Byzantine custom of Sichnon and orange trees. It includes the transfer of the Sichnon (ancient military standards with silver crosses and colorful flags) from the chapels of the churches to the main temples, and then they all end up at the icy waters of the river Enipeas, called the "pit" by locals, where they throw in the Holy Cross. Then the most daring young men dive into the ice cold water to catch the cross. Whoever finds the cross is said to be blessed and to have good luck throughout the coming year. At the same time, cultural events are organized.
A carnival with a parade of chariots takes place in February and March, culminating in the burning of cedars in the neighborhoods, which they call Bairia. Sardines and wine are offered according to tradition.
On February 22nd Litochoro celebrates the Revolution of Olympus which took place in 1878. Its name “Korovogia” derives from Evangelos Korovagos who led the revolution. The celebration includes festive events with a parade, dances and a race in the town park.
On Rose Monday (Carnival Monday) a traditional kite flying contest is held in the Xirokambi region, accompanied by music, dance, lots of Tsipouro (pomace brandy) and Lenten food.