“No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.”
Spring arrives and if is not spring a rebirth then who? How will you celebrate Spring? Have you ever visit Crete in Spring?
Just one more day and Spring officially will be landed, How will you welcome her?
By giving your home a deep spring clean?
By planning your garden and outdoor plants?
By picking a new book?
By planning your trip?
Spring arrives and if is not spring a rebirth then who?
Spring customs on Crete now and then
Spring is (almost) in the air in Greece, and Greeks will soon begin preparations to welcome the new season by celebrating an ancient annual custom. The tradition of “Martis” entails that everyone, regardless of age, adorns themselves with red and white bracelets made from thread, from March 1 until the last day of the month on March 31.
The ancient tradition of Martis (from which the month of March derives its name) dates back to the cults of Demeter and Persephone, which began thousands of years ago in ancient Greece. Eleusis was the ancient city where the ancients performed secret rites for the cult.
As a form of initiation into the cult, which was one of the Eleusinian Mysteries, the faithful wore a bracelet called a “kroki” around both their right hand and left ankle. Amazingly, the ancient tradition still lives on today in modern Greece. However, there are certain rules that one must abide by when creating and wearing the symbolic bracelet which celebrates the arrival of Spring.
Most importantly, the bracelet must be woven on the last day of February and it must be made of white and red thread. The white thread of the bracelet symbolizes purity while the red represents life and passion.
In ancient times, people believed that the bracelet helped protect the person who was wearing it from diseases, as well as the strong rays of the spring sun during the month of March.
Part of the ancient tradition in Greece calls for the person wearing their red and white “Martis” bracelet to take it off and tie it to the first flowering tree they see in March, in order to yield a healthy harvest and to keep the tree healthy.
Another lovely tradition that Greeks practice with Martis bracelets occurs when the first swallow of the Spring is sighted. The first person who sees a swallow upon the bird’s return from its winter migration ties their bracelet around the nearest rose bush to encourage the bird to make its nest there.
Nowadays, for extra protection, the “Evil Eye” is being incorporated into these quaint bracelets, another Greek custom, protecting against evil.
“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.” - Pablo Neruda
Activities to Explore Crete in Spring
Music and Dance Festivals in Heraklion
If you are a young traveller looking for a vibrant and energetic atmosphere, the music and dance festivals in Heraklion will be right up your alley. From May to June, the city comes alive with a series of concerts, performances, and parties that cater to various musical tastes.
The Heraklion Summer Arts Festival is a highlight of the season, bringing together artists from all over Greece and abroad. The festival showcases a diverse range of performances, including live music concerts, dance shows, theatre plays, and art exhibitions. Whether you are a fan of rock, jazz, traditional Greek music, or contemporary dance, you will find something to suit your taste.
Join the Easter Celebrations in Rethymno
Easter is an important religious holiday in Greece, and the celebrations in Rethymno, a picturesque town in Crete, are particularly noteworthy. If you are travelling with your family, immersing yourselves in the Easter traditions of Crete will be a truly memorable experience.
The Easter celebrations in Rethymno feature solemn processions, where locals carry holy icons and walk through the streets of the old town. The atmosphere is filled with reverence and spirituality, and you can witness the deep faith of the Cretan people. As the day turns into night, the town is illuminated by thousands of lit candles, creating a mesmerizing sight.
Apart from the religious ceremonies, Easter in Rethymno is also a time for joyous feasting and merriment. Traditional dishes such as lamb, stuffed vegetables, and local desserts are prepared, and families gather to celebrate and indulge in delicious food. It is a time to bond with loved ones and experience the warmth of Cretan hospitality.
Experience the Flower Festival in Chania
One of the most iconic spring festivals in Crete is the Flower Festival in Chania, held annually in May. As the streets of Chania come alive with a riot of floral colours, locals and visitors gather to celebrate the beauty of nature. The highlight of the festival is the grand parade, where elaborately decorated floats adorned with vibrant flowers make their way through the city's streets. This dazzling spectacle is accompanied by music, traditional dances, and joyful festivities.
For adults visiting Crete, the Flower Festival in Chania offers a unique opportunity to appreciate the island's natural beauty and immerse themselves in the local culture. Strolling through the streets, admiring the intricate flower arrangements, and joining in the festivities will make you feel like you've stepped into a fairytale.
While the spring festivals in Crete are undoubtedly the main attraction, there are also plenty of other activities to make your visit to this captivating island even more memorable.
For those who enjoy outdoor adventures and breathtaking natural landscapes, renting a buggy or an ATV is a great way to explore the rugged terrain of Crete. These off-road vehicles allow you to discover hidden gems, from secluded beaches to picturesque mountain villages. You can rent buggies or ATVs from various locations on the island, such as car rental agencies or travel agencies, ensuring that you have the freedom to explore at your own pace.
During April, the island experiences blooming wildflowers, adding a touch of enchantment to its picturesque scenery. The weather typically ranges from comfortable to warm, with daytime temperatures averaging around 17-23°C (63-73°F), allowing for enjoyable outdoor activities.
Crete is also known for its rich historical and archaeological sites. Exploring the ancient ruins of Knossos, the Palace of Phaistos, or the Venetian fortress of Koules in Heraklion will transport you back in time and offer a fascinating glimpse into the island's past. Guided tours are available for those who want to learn more about the history and significance of these sites.
Spring is the perfect time to savour the flavours of Cretan cuisine. From fresh seafood to delicious olive oil and aromatic herbs, the island boasts a rich culinary tradition. Exploring local taverns and trying traditional dishes such as dakos, lamb with stamnagathi, or kaltsounia (sweet cheese pastries) will take your taste buds on a delightful journey.
In conclusion, spring is a magical time to visit Crete and immerse yourself in its vibrant festivals and natural beauty. Whether you are an adult, a family, or a young traveller, there is something for everyone on this enchanting island. From the Flower Festival in Chania to the Easter celebrations in Rethymno, and the music and dance festivals in Heraklion, these events will leave you with cherished memories of Crete. Make sure to explore the island's outdoor adventures, historical sites, and delicious cuisine to truly make the most of your visit. So pack your bags, put on your best walking shoes, and get ready to experience the captivating charm of Crete in bloom this spring!
Exploring the enchanting landscapes of Crete is a truly unparalleled experience, and renting a car during the vibrant season of Spring allows discerning travellers the freedom to craft their own bespoke itineraries. Nestled within the heart of this captivating Greek island are myriad captivating villages, picturesque settlements, sun-kissed Cretan beaches, timeless monuments, and cosmopolitan cities, all waiting to be discovered.
Elevating your journey is our commitment to providing a seamless and affordable car rental experience tailored to your needs. Our local car rental service presents an array of meticulously maintained vehicles, ensuring that every traveller can traverse the diverse terrain of Crete with comfort and style. Embrace the freedom to explore the hidden gems and iconic landmarks of this extraordinary destination at your own pace, as our competitive rates empower you to make the most of your Spring adventure on the radiant island of Crete.
Ready to kick off your Crete adventure? Grab your keys right at Chania Airport or Heraklion Airport (HER) and hit the road in no time. If you're sailing into the beauty of Crete, we've got you covered too! Your rental wheels can roll up right when you disembark at Souda Port or Heraklion Port. No waiting, just seamless travel from sea to land!Thank you for reading our article. Find more articles about Crete here