Soulas Greek Festivals

Informant Information:

  • Nationality: Greek
  • Occupation: Professor
  • Primary language: Greek/  English 

Context & Text:

I.T spoke on village life in Rhodos, and going with family to the monastery of Soulas, where the yearly festivals were held. E.T said, “These festivals are lost in time, beyond recorded time in Greece, they have occurred continuously..” From the neothlithic period, Greece has had a religious component and a form of entertainment for people. The monastery has served as a temple for the god Dionysus, the god of wine and good luck. The monastery is located In the mounts, surrounded by pine trees. These festivals take place in July for the whole month, where the village people become united. These festivals also served as a time to establish friendships and relationships, especially since the whole island and other islands like Athens would go to compete in athletic games. I.T recalls his village making huts from the branches of the trees and staying there for a month, children playing in the stadium, and everyone would dance and sing. He described these festivals as a sort of business expo, where people would bring animals to sell, or ceramics, dry foods, etc. This location is a sight to marry because of the significance of the place to the whole island, I.T mentioned how his own daughter chose to marry there. At these festivals, traditional food was made and drinks were open to everyone, there was no age limit. However, drinks could only be offered by adults and the purpose of drinking alcohol was for appetite and good company. Wine wasn’t used to get drunk, if they got drunk they would not be allowed to drink again and they would lose respect for breaking a code of conduct. 


I, myself, have been to the monastery of Soulas on my first visit to the island of Rhodos, Greece. This is where I met I.T, and he was born and raised in Rhodos and knows all about its magnificent culture. Upon visiting this site, I was able to learn more about Greek culture, specifically in Rhodos. When researching this sight in particular, I found that inside the temple there is a sacred water source that is believed to hold healing properties. In the outside area surrounding the temple, there are various sports facilities in which the competitions occur for the athletic games. Additionally, I found that these annual festivals that take place in the summer are done in honor of Saint Soulas, and pilgrims travel there days in advance to prepare for the festival. I believe that the Greek people hold such a strong sense of national pride, and they love to honor their rich culture by opening their doors to everyone in events such as the festivals of Soulas.