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07 Feb 2015

A bit of raki, a bit of sea and our Sitia!

‘The land of Sitia’ festival. If you find a way to resist the delicacies of Cretan cuisine let me know.

There is a ‘tasty’ festival, the tastiest you’ve ever been to, which will tingle the roof of your mouth, will fill your soul with the sound of violins and lyres and will urge your body to dance to the rhythms of Chania and Sitia! I’m being honest! This takes place in Sitia! Its name is ‘The land of Sitia’. ‘The land of Sitia’ festival is the only time when the producers of Cretan products get to meet and takes place once a year in the summer. Visitor, this is your chance to taste, see, hear and touch the most valuable products the land of Sitia produces. Now that I’ve told you what this festival is about, I’ll tell you what happens there. First of all our festival lasts for three days (yes you understood correctly, three days of drinking raki, tasting dishes of Sitia and dancing!) and includes a lot of events which take place at the same time. Seminars, speeches, production of raki (learn/find out how the most popular drink of Crete is produced!), visits to soap workshops, olive oil workshops, wine workshops, honey workshops, dairy product workshops/cheese workshops, herb workshops, traditional dessert workshops, fish workshops and soft drink workshops. There are trips to nearby villages like Piskokefalo (that’s where V. Kornaros lived), Lithines, Praisos and Makry Gialos. At the same time you can find beautiful kiosks situated at the central square of the town where the local merchants show off their products and who are there to treat you and talk to you about the beauties of Sitia any time you happen to come by. I have been in the honey kiosk for the last three years so that I can treat the passers-by with my sweet treats and also sample my neighbours’treats. It’s a unique experience that I wouldn’t think of missing it in any summer.


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As the evening approaches, the festival comes to life. The people of Sitia finish working, the visitors have come back from their visit to the beach and everybody meets up at the square. Local bands of Cretan music entertain us with Kalogeridi’s and Dermitzogianni’s mantinades( traditional poems accompanied with Cretan music). Some dance groups, dressed in traditional Cretan costumes start dancing. There go the dancers with their exceptional dance moves and you stare wanting to be part of their fun.


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A bit further, Cretan cuisine begins its work. Ladies, traditional housewives coming from the nearby villages show of their amazing dishes to the public. They cook thousands of mouthwatering delicacies. Pancakes, broad beans/fava beans, soups, stuffed vine leaves with rice, artichokes, risotto, snails, greens from the mountain, preserved fruit desserts and many more so that you do not what to taste first or which one is the best.


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I left the most popular drink of the island last. Raki. It carries a long tradition in this town and the production process (kazanemata) which is sacred, takes place every year by the fun loving people of Sitia. There, at ‘the Land of Sitia’festival you will experience the production process (kazanemata) at first hand. It is a tremendously wonderful experience for visitors to become familiar with a part of the Cretan culture and to sample raki.


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This festival has become our meeting point and we will be waiting for you in the summer. There is an open invitation for you…


Traveller, whenever you are planning a trip/holiday, to any destination it might be, don’t forget the name of my town…SITIA!


Have a look, read about it and come to ‘The land of Sita’/’Sitia Land’festival!



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