Religious fairs, panayiria, are commonplace in the summer months. They are a celebration of the name-day of a particular church or monastery and often take place in the vicinity of the establishment. Celebrations are colourful, often in the evening of the name day with eating, drinking, dancing and a barbecue. There are also vendors with there stalls selling just about anything, baubles, bangles and beads.
The main local Panayiria in the area:
Pigadakia - 27th July at the church of St Pantaleimona
Katastari - 15th August Church of the Virgin Mary (Panayia) in the main square.
SUMMER 3 DAY FESTIVAL
The three day summer festival is organised by the district of Alykes and has become an annual event taking place once every year (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) in the month of July.
These events have become very successful and celebrate the arts from all over Greece and other European countries plus local performances from the villages within the district.
Every year there are different performances on stage including musical concerts, opera, traditional plays (omilies), theatre, dance, orchestras and much more.
The event takes place in the church square in Katastari, there is also a small street market and stalls with freshly cooked souvlaki.
Zakynthos' carnival is now very famous all over Greece for being magnificent and very merry. For hundreds of years the island of Zakynthos upholds and honours old carnival traditions, in which locals actively participate on different levels via their districts.
In Katastari on the Sunday prior to the main carnival procession of Zante, the villages of the district come together and have their own parade. Each village and school has its own theme, colourful costumes and floats and parade through the streets. It has a great party atmosphere and is often accompanied by events on stage in the main church square including theatre performances dancing and music.
The carnival usually takes place around the end of February but exact dates change from year to year.
Easter in Greece is the biggest festival of the year and considered to be the most important, even more important than Christmas. There is a large celebration in Zakynthos Town but also every village has its own local celebrations.
The Holy Week begins on the Monday prior to Easter Sunday with different events taking place in the homes and churches.
In the district of Alykes villagers gather on Good Friday evening at their local church where an effigy of the crucified Christ is carried through the streets while the congregation follow behind with lit candles. On the Saturday evening just before midnight the villagers congregate outside the church and as midnight strikes the church bells ring and the priest announces 'Christos Anesti ' (Christ has risen). Candles are lit and the villagers celebrate and return to their homes for a feast after the many days of fasting.
Easter Sunday is a time for families and friends to gather outside their homes and roast a lamb on the open fires and enjoy a splendid feast which continues throughout the day.