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Culture has always been an integral part of Rhodian life. The Municipality of Rhodes organizes a plethora of cultural events throughout the year, with emphasis on the summer months, attracting the interest of residents and visitors alike. At the same time there are many traditional events and religious festivals held every year around the island, giving visitors the opportunity to experience the traditions and customs of the island.

Rhodes, an island of Art & Culture

Classical music concerts, opera, ancient drama, dance performances, art exhibitions and cinema festivals attract the interest of residents and visitors alike. These high caliber events have the added advantage of being held in unique historic monuments. Comprehensive adjustments were made to many monumental buildings in order to host social functions, integrating them into the life of modern Rhodes. Unique historic sites are now available for unforgettable events, concerts, festivals and exhibitions.

The courtyard of the Palace of the Grand Master, the Melina Merkouri Theatre in the Medieval Moat, the courtyard of the Hospice of St John that now houses the Archeological Museum, Our Lady of the Bourg and Our Lady of the Castle, are the most exceptional of them all.

Many interesting cultural events take place every year in Rhodes, indicatively some of them are:

• The “Days of Music” Festival of Rhodes, one of the most popular music festivals in Greece, held in cooperation with Live Music Now - Yehudi Menuhin Foundation of Munich, is held every September - an event that has become a standard for the last 12 consecutive years - against the mystical background setting of the medieval town.

• The International Summer Music Academy is an important initiative for the cultural life of Rhodes and offers the opportunity for talented musicians from around the world to improve and demonstrate their skills under the guidance of internationally renowned artists.

• The Summer Festival held atMelina Mercouri theatre in the moat of the medieval town. Beneath the magic scenery of the ramparts, towers and walls, summer concerts, plays and dance performances take place.

• Since ancient times Rhodes has celebrated the festivities of the Carnival. Parades, masqueraders, stilt walkers and clowns have endless fun in the central squares of the city and its villages.

For information concerning cultural events in the City of Rhodes, please visit the website of the Municipality of Rhodes: www.rhodes.gr or consult the Municipal Cultural Organization of Rhodes, Tel: +30 22410 27427, podr@rhodes.gr, info@rhodes.gr.

Religious Festivals and Traditional Celebrations

In the parish churches and in the many chapels all over the island of Rhodes, religious festivals and various cultural events are organised, on the celebration day of each Saint, attracting crowds of visitors who want to experience the traditional celebrations of the island.

Some of the island’s biggest religious fairs are:

• On August 15: The celebrations of the Assumption of Virgin Mary, are held mainly in Kremasti, in the villages ofVati & Asklipion in South Rhodes and many other churches around the island.

• On 8 September: The celebration of Our Lady of Tsampika, is heldat the monastery on the hilltop of Archangelos and the celebration of Our Lady of Skiadi in the picturesque church.

• On 30 July: of St. Silas (Soulas by the locals), is held in the pine forest near the village Soroni, with various events.

• On 17 July: The fairs of Saint Marina are held in the villages of Paradisi, Apolakkia & Koskinou.

• On 27 July: The fair of St. Panteleimon, one of the most colorful festivals of the island, takes place at the mountain village of Sianna.

• On 6 August: The Transfiguration of Christ is celebrated in the small chapel near the village of Fanes.

Easter Celebrations

The Easter celebration takes place every year throughout the island of Rhodes with devotion and in according to traditional customs. An experience not to be missed is the Epitaph Procession of the historic monastery of St. Fanourios, that takes place in the narrow streets of the Medieval Town. At to the Church of Annunciation in Mandraki the Resurrection of Christ is celebrated with impressive fireworks, while in the monasteries and the villages of the mainland, the celebrations have a more traditional atmosphere.

Many festivals are organised in the agricultural areas of the island, dedicated to the products of mother earth in each area, such as the wine festival in Embona, the feast of watermelon in Apollakia, etc. These festivals offer the opportunity to visitors not only to enjoy the celebrations but also to savour the traditional tastes and products of each village.