Kanaria Festival in Parga

Place: Parga (distance from Preveza: 62 km)
Time of the year: 14-15 August
Info: 2684 3 60200


The Kanaria Festival is the highlight of the cultural events organised in the Municipality of Parga which are collectively called Pargina. It is held every year in Parga on the eve of August 15 and its background is both religious and historical.

On the night before the celebration devoted to the Dormition of the Virgin Mary (Panagia) on 15 August, people go by boats or caiques to Panagia Island situated opposite the city of Parga where they attend a folk festival in which a local music group also participates. On the following day (15 August), at night, many people gather at the harbour to attend the Varkarolla event, a re-enactment of the return of the Pargians and their holy relics to their homeland. The expatriation of Pargians started in 1817 when the English sold Parga to Ali Pasha of Ioannina. Almost one century later, the Pargians returned to their homeland which had been liberated from the Ottomans and this occurrence is re-enacted at the Varkarolla event. Two series of boats, spectacularly decorated with Venetian lamps, start from the castle and the big rocks called Pavloukes and head to the harbour where they are greeted with a beautiful firework display. Immediately following the fireworks, the festival closes with live music and dancing by a local group.