The multicultural and distant past of Crete is reflected in all aspects of modern Cretan, such as language, dance, music, diet, arts and crafts.
In Crete, tradition ties in harmoniously with modern life. Undoubtedly for reasons related to the history, religion and climate, the customs and traditions of the island are very special and unique.
Sports-cultural-religious etc. associations, municipalities, the region of Crete, artistic organizations, villages, and others organize all year round a number of traditional events, festivals, and fete.
Hire a car in Crete from MONZA and find yourself at a traditional fete or festival. You will experience unprecedented emotions. Participate or watch the traditional local dances, the rich and lively musical tradition.
You will also hear the famous “kontylies” and the old or improvised “Cretan mantinades”.
“Kontylia” is one of the most basic types of Cretan music, with a long tradition and roots in Eastern Crete. In essence, these are musical phrases that contribute to the composition of organic melodies, songs, and even dances. The ornate kontylies from the provinces of Sitia and Ierapetra are most famous.
“Mantinades” are short couplet poems. They reflect the feelings, thoughts and life of the Cretan people. They express the complaint, the love, the attitude for life and every emotion that springs from the sensitive Cretan soul. In the festivals and celebrations, the battles of the mantinades between the rhymesters are impressive. One mantinada follows the other, under the sound of the lyre and the company of “raki”, with the feast lasting for hours.
At fete in western Crete, at Regional Unit of Chania, the men perform the “risitika” songs, which are the most primitive kind of music and poetic tradition.
Cretan music is this that gives life to Cretan festivities. Thus, the Cretan musical tradition is considered the liveliest in Greece. It continues to evolve and incorporate creative contemporary musical elements. In addition, it manages to express and comment on the current reality in a lively way.
Cretan music artists have the ability to improvise, giving a different color and liveliness to the festivals. The musicians are not limit to the typical repetition of the basic melodies, but enrich their playing with improvisations that accompany the dancers. The dancers, in turn, also improvise in their dances.
The dance is the characteristic of the traditional festivities. For Cretans, dancing is often a struggle of endurance and bravery. It is a way to express the feelings of their psychic world. Thus, it is essentially a part of their lives.
Men and women dance the traditional Cretan dances, where in the official events wear the wonderful Cretan costume. The dances are sometimes fast and sometimes slow, but they are always dynamic and imposing.
The dancers are in a circle presenting the complex step in the basic types of dances, while the first dancer of the circle makes figures. Each area of the island has its own traditional dances.
Of course, every traditional feast has excellent food and drink. So you will taste wonderful traditional dishes and drink a lot of wine, but also the local drink “raki”.