INFORMATION on details of what you will watch or hear during our FESTIVAL


These are songs originating from Western Crete from where they gradually spread and  became known in Central Crete as well.

Their name comes from the Greek word “rizes =roots”, the area at the foot of the “Lefka Ori” (or the  White Mountains of Crete) where these songs were first sung.

They have been composed by ordinary people , not professional poets, are sung without the accompaniment of music(and are often followed by a short  couplet )

These songs  express all the special characteristics and deep feelings of the Cretan people , such as their passion for life, liberty, friendship as well as hospitality , respect for others, dignity, mourning for the loss of beloved ones , etc.

Thus, depending on the occasion, you will hear the “rizitiko”  which is most suitable : a social one, a heroic one, a revolutionary one or even one about love for the environment.

                             1st Rizitiko Song from the “Rizitiko Group of Kalithea” – Thursday 17/07

“My lovely vineyard, with your beautiful vines,

My creditors have come for their money, so I have to sell you.”

“Whether you sell me  or not , you won’t be able to repay what you owe.

Have me pruned and cultivated……”

1st Cretan couplet :

I will taste the wine from my old vineyard

to check its quality,

so as to take it to Platanias

and treat my friends !

2nd Rizitiko 

Mother, I drink wine in order to stop being so sober

(and find the courage)

to be at my beloved one’s door at dawn.

I drank it yesterday and found myself at her door ,

only to find it tightly shut…..

*** Of course there can not be an exact translation of these songs. We are trying to give you the “feeling” of what they  say.

 2nd couplet :

Drink wine, my son, drink it ,

In order to maintain your health

And find the girl you love

In  your arms !

                                                          1st Rizitiko Song from the group “Kritikes Mathares”   -Sunday 20/07

Two brothers are buried on the deck of a boat.

In between the two graves a beautiful vine sprouted.

It produces tasty grapes , and even tastier wine.

Mothers drink this wine , seeking to forget……

1st couplet :

A thousand thanks to the vineyards,

And their vines and grapes,

These enable the poor

To forget all their troubles.

2nd Rizitiko Song

Listen to what a wise man advised his son :

“ Son , when you go to the pub where you meet people having a feast,

Mind you, be careful who you sit next to, with whom you will share your meal and drink!

It’s wiser to associate with people better and more knowledgeable than you, rather than enjoy a rich meal …”

2nd couplet :

Wine, I drink you to do me good,

But the opposite usually happens,

You often lead me off  the main road,

 and right into ditches !!!

Apart from the above mentioned, here is a very brief explanation referring to the names “people from Pontos and Asia Minor”:

Ever since ancient times Greek people had been living in colonies founded by the ancient Greeks all around the Mediterranean, where they had developed a significant civilization.

“Pontos” people lived in the region to the Southern part of the Black Sea (North-Eastern  Turkey) but there were also many such settlements to be found all over Asia Minor.

Many  years after the liberation of Greece from the Ottoman Empire, and the war between Greece and Turkey in 1922 when Greece was tragically defeated ,a treaty  was signed  by the leaders of two countries to “exchange” populations . Thus, the Greeks living all over Asia Minor and its coastal areas were forced to abandon their homes and property, become refugees  and settle in Greece, taking the homes of the Muslims living there who, in turn, were forced to take refuge in Turkey.

The people from Pontos and Asia Minor managed not only to survive but also to flourish in their new homes helping very much in the development of the whole country. Of course, they have never forgotten the land where they and their ancestors had lived . This is why they have founded associations, organize and take part in various  events, so as to preserve their customs and culture.