As the sky lit up with a phantasmagoric fireworks display, cheering and salutations to another successful ‘victory’ filled the air.
The spectacular Armata festival of Spetses, which took place from 2 to 10 September 2017, was another opportunity to celebrate the history and traditions of the island. It is also an annual event which symbolizes the beginning of the end of summer. Those who attend regularly have associated it with a return to routine after their vacation period, while those visiting for the first time undoubtedly get a sense of how important the Armata is to the area. This year, from the first day of the celebrations, the townsfolk and visitors who had arrived on the island for the occasion got involved in the various athletic and sporting activities which had been organised. As the week progressed, traditional dancing, children’s puppet shows and musical performances filled the streets with a celebratory atmosphere.
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The crowds turned out in their numbers on the Saturday evening to watch the climax of the festival; the re-enactment of the events that unfolded in the Straits of Spetses in 1821. An effigy of a Turkish flotilla, which had been carefully constructed by local boat makers, was symbolically torched to the delight of the spectators.
As the sky lit up with a phantasmagoric fireworks display, cheering and salutations to another successful ‘victory’ filled the air. The following day saw the official closing of the Armata in which His Excellency the President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos was present. After the blessing at St. Nikolas Church, Mr Pavlopoulos attended a ceremony for the laying of wreaths at the Heroes Monument, which were then scattered out to sea at Dapia Port.
Words by Wendi Jane Ellis