Ikaria is an island of exceptional character and unique personality. The locals enjoy life to the fullest, through fine quality eating and drinking, as well as dancing and singing, laughing out loud. It is their mentality that contributes to the island’s longevity, since it seems that the Ikarians have discovered the secret of life. And to top it off, the islanders indulge in several Ikaria festivals throughout the year. These are special times, when everyone gathers to celebrate Saint name days, religious feasts and even cultural events.
Most of these Ikaria festivals take place from early May and stretch out to November. This makes a lot of sense, since during these months the temperatures are milder and there are more people visiting the island. Of course, there are some festivals or else panigiria that boast great popularity. August 15th is the Assumption of Virgin Mary and in Ikaria this is a day worth remembering. Prophet Ilias celebrates July 20th at the settlement of Agios Kirikos. The Birth of Virgin Mary is celebrated September 8th at the villages of Kerame, Plagia and Ploumari.
As for cultural events, perhaps the most popular one is the Icarus Festival. Apparently, Ikaria has been named after this mythological hero. He was the one who overestimated his powers, in his anticipation to fly away. So he ended up having his wings destroyed. And as a result, he fell in the deep blue waters of the Ikarian Sea. To celebrate his memory, the islanders have held an annual festival ever since 2006. They celebrate music from all parts of the world, in a splendid mix. Although the event does not have a set date, it is typically held in July. At the same time, the International Chess Festival in Agios Kirikos also adds to the flair and value of these events.