Welcome to the festival!
Makrygialos, a small Greek fishing village with 2500 inhabitants, has become a well-known holiday resort. One of the greatest events of the area has maintained the tradition of the Mussel Festival held in July for three decades.
You cannot only perceive the glittering mussel farms, situated couple of hundreds of meters off the shore, from the beach visited by both locals and tourists but also from the settlements nearby. The mussel ’festoons’ rocking on the Aegean Sea seem to be pearls on a string embellishing the surface of the sea shining brightly. It is one of the sights that makes Makrygialos unique in contrast to other Greek resorts.
The village was considered significant in Antiquity, it was founded in 8th century B.C. Due to its strategic situation, the Athenians and Macedonians perpetually battled for it. It fell into the latter’s hands in the 5th century.
Local fishermen, also engaged in mussel growing, joined forces to organize the festival of the local sea mussels in these splendid surroundings. Local people always look forward to the event. They work hard to prepare the black mussel harvest so that the crop will be abondant and of high quality. Naturally, its mythological importance cannot be neglected since according to mythology it is the gods of the sky-high Olympos that give gifts as they please. Therefore the Greeks showered them with gifts in the hope of abondance. Votive presents included offerings of different first crops, honey, wine, olive oil, statues, ornamental tableware but also dishes made from the crops – as they do it at the Mussel Festival, which has provided the means that the charm of the festival has been witnessed by a wide range of public for several years.
As the time passed by, an increasing number of visitors are coming to see the festival year by year. It offers programmes to nearly ten thousand people for two days.
The pedastrian precinct along the seafront is closed early afternoon. All the residents start decorating the seaside village enthousiastically and cheerfully. Then the market is opened, where the locals invite the guests to taste cipuro and mussels cooked in a special way. Foreign visitors are also welcome. The mediterranean atmosphere intensifies after sunset; the tempting lights of the night as well as the impressive and playful roar of the sea radiate a particular bustling feeling towards the participants; on the beach stage music and dance performances alternate, national dances and songs are performed.
Besides gastronomical delights, performances of high standard from foreign show dance to majorette and the Greek folk music, the pondiaka are all presented. The Greek song, which makes the highly intensive and enviable summer night fever accumulate, cannot be ignored either.
In several restaurants guests can taste sea mussel and the rare seafood specialities.
The aim of the festival is to present the high quality sea mussel to native and foreign people. The festival is most versatile, though. We definitely intend to increase the image of Makrygialos beyond that of the sea mussel. We have done our best to make use of a variety of marketing and commercial means.
According to the well-established Greek tradition, almost all festivals and programmes take place in the evening and last till late at night as by this time the daytime heat turns milder, which makes every moment of the fun more enjoyable.
During the festival, the programmes may attract all age groups and the velvety touch of the sea contributes to success.
Having returned from the holiday when Mussel Festival is only a memory and holidaymakers look at the pictures intimately and they remember the unselfish hospitality of the local people and feel that they could experience a special and unforgettable moment.
This unrepeatable experience at Makrygialos given to them as a gift is for a lifetime!
It is worth attending this programme as the magic of this stay remains in our memory for a long time.