As in the rest of Greece, so in Lesvos the festivals have always played a leading role in the social, cultural and economic life of the place. Some festivals have a more local character, while others are multi-day and numerous, taking on a "supra-local" dimension. Until 1922, These large festivals attracted large numbers of visitors from Christian communities in Asia Minor., mainly Smyrna and Ayvalik. Characteristic examples are the festival of Panagia in Agiaso, as well as the festival of Taxiarchis in Mandamados. Thousands of pilgrims arrive on foot on the eve, creating an atmosphere that every believer deserves to experience.
After the 1950s, a second sequence of customs appears in the history of Lesvos, which are connected with the "horse culture" and gradually acquire a large dimension. Riders adorn their horses with particular elegance, while competing with each other in the show, the figures and the dance. In fact, in many festivals horse races are held with participants from all over the island.
The big festivals with a hyperlocal character that are still a central point of reference in the social and religious life of the island are the festival of Panagia on the fifteenth of August in Agiasos, walk around the island to the sounds of the santouri. Look for the amazing instrumentalists of the island and enjoy their sounds. This melodious instrument, from the major urban centers of Asia Minor, "passes" to the islands of the Eastern Aegean and takes root for good in music-loving Lesvos. The procession of the Epitaph in the village of Asoma is magical, under the sounds of the santouri!
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