The people of Schinoussa are warm- and open-hearted, with a love of their folk feasts, customs and traditions.
Besides religious fetes, the local cultural association also organizes other events every yearwhich you would be unlikely to forget.
The major religious and social event is the fete of Panagia (Virgin Mary) in Chora, which takes place on the last Saturday of Lent. Church service is followed by feasting at the cultural center, where octopus or cuttlefish with rice is usually served.
A school parade is held after service at the Church of Evangelistria in Messaria on March 25 (National Day). Fried cod with garlic sauce is served for everyone at the church courtyard afterwards, while schoolchildren recite poems and participate in a theater performance in the afternoon.
The Dormition of the Virgin, Greece’s second most important religious holiday after Easter, is celebrated annually on August 15. The church offers local delicacies and feasting continues with traditional live music and dancing in the tavernas in the evening.
The chapel of Agios Nikolaos at Faros celebrates annually on December 6. Pilgrims and visitors are treated to the traditional dish of fried cod with garlic sauce in the chapel courtyard. The chapel is accessible from the port, either by local boats or on foot - a 20-minute pleasant walk.
On Easter day, locals gather at the square in Chora and play bilious, a game thought to be an ancient precursor of bowling.Donkeys were the only means of transportation on the island until the 1980’s, when roads were constructed and cars first appeared on Schinoussa.
Since then the number of donkeys has dwindled sharply and they tend to be hard to find these days. As a tribute to their contribution to the island’s economy and society, Schinoussa holds annual donkey races in August.
The event starts with a parade of riders and their donkeys and the race follows. Spectators are offered gifts and local delicacies by local businesses.
The Schinoussa Cultural Association in co-operation with the split pea local producers and the businesspeople hold an annual split pea feastat the school courtyard in Chora.
The specialty is offered by the local producers. The feast, featuring traditional music, food and drink, lasts until the early morning hours.In August, the association also organizes a three-day bazaarwith local handicrafts and a photography exhibition with old pictures and portraits, at the picturesque alley in front of the Church of Panagia in Chora. Films and documentaries for young and old are also screened in the church courtyard.The same period in the small theater “Katina Polemi”the association is organizing another event with live music and traditional dances.