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Arts & Culture in Kefalonia Island | Kefalonian Cultural & History

Kefalonia | Arts and Culture

The island’s disrupted history left its mark on the local culture with many Western-European elements being creatively assimilated into its authentic culture, the arts, the music, the dance and folklore. At traditional and folklore festivities, local traditional dances such as the balos, the dibaratikos and the manetas give way to music and dances such as the waltz and the tango from the nobility of the European middle-class of 1920. In addition, the kantrilies, dancing around the traditional Greek maypole, stand apart from Cephalonian carnival, whereas, even to this day, in the narrow streets of Argostoli, the more fortunate will come across traditional serenaders with the accompaniment of a guitar.

Artistic creativity on the island of Cephalonia was succeeded by the so called ‘’Heptanese School’’ (or Ionian Island School) (18th century), a school of post – byzantine art that marked the departure from the traditional representations and the shift to Renaissance and Baroque trends. In this context, Cephalonia offered remarkable painting, sculptures, ecclesiastical art, architecture and literature to the spiritual rebirth of the Ionian Islands and Greece. Local traditional architecture undoubtedly played a significant role in the local culture with its dominant and characteristic from having a strong Renaissance and Baroque influence, maintaining the Heptanese Architectural style, but with simpler and well-balanced lines. Nevertheless, the successive earthquake of 1953 caused major destructions in the northern part of the island and leaving very few old buildings intact.

Lastly, activities and events dominate modern day culture, especially during the summer months with the most significant being the Eortia in Sami, the Choir Festival, and other artistic events held at the ‘’Kefalos’’ Municipal Theatre in Argostoli, in Sami, in Poro, Myrto beach and Skala. Furthermore, carnivals and various folklore events such as festivals and religious celebrations are held one end of the island to the other.

 
 
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