vegan festival

The first vegan festival in Ikaria a great success!

The first vegan festival in Ikaria was held for the first time in the island’s history! Ikaria is considered as the master of the Greek festivals, with thousands of people passing by the island each year to celebrate what Greek traditional festivities look like! It is an island where the vibes are so strong that nobody ever forgets having visited it. That’s why anything that goes on there is a trend creator, since the actions in Ikaria are always a ‘must’ and a trend in the tourist life, especially young people who visit Ikaria for sports and wellness and relaxation in an unforgettable way.

What is a ‘panigiri’

The Greek ‘panigiri’ is a tradition and a cultural event in Greece that is organised during the summer months mainly in the villages of Greek islands. The Feast begins at the local church in the morning and is followed by Greek music, food, local wine and lots of dancing, which are the key element of a Panigiri.

After the ceremony people sit together, eating local food like olives, cheese, pies, meats, seafood, Greek salad and other dishes that are famous in that region. Locals and their guests dance and sing traditional music, while bands play till early in the morning. The festival is an occasion to bring people together, and celebrate life in a unique and fun-filled experience that should not be missed during your summer in Greece.

What happened at the vegan ‘panigiri’

A few days ago, a very unique Panigiri took place in that beautiful island and the uniqueness in not referred to the way of the feast but the menu! It was all about vegan!

The ‘mezedes’ of the night, which are the small pieces of delicacies offered at a festivity, for the first time in history, where not meats but vegetables and vegan choices that inspired a lot of people to treat the planet more friendly!

In the village of Stavlos, where some of the biggest festivals are being organized during the summer, that specific festival was an unforgettable experience with an exclusively vegetarian menu. The feast had a totally authentic character: clarinets and violins played loudly until early in the morning in the central square, the wine was sweet, local and flowed abundantly, while the people couldn’t stop dancing.

Many reported, in fact, that they had more energy than at other festival. “I think we’ve made history,” said chef Nikos Gaitanos, in one of his television appearances, after the courageous venture.

In particular, the whole scene was set after the invitation from the animal welfare association of Ikaria “Etheras and Gaia”, in order to have an event-intersection in the meat-eating tradition of the country, but also to collect money for the protection of strays.

The menu

The chef found no difficulties in adapting the menu (he is a loyal supporter of vegetarian cuisine, who is behind Athens Vegan Burgers and Vegan Souvlaki in Athens), and since “food technology has evolved so much now that anyone looking for tasty substitutes for meat, it is more easy for him to find the ingredients.

Many well-known companies in the sector were sponsors of the event, so, on the one hand, there were plant-based delicacies on the stalls, such as sausages, meatballs and wings (all vegan products), and on the other hand, there were the well-known flavors of the Mediterranean tradition, which, by the way, is not always based on meat.

There were many cooked foods , including the Ikarian soufiko (something similar to bream), there were salads, potatoes with mushrooms in the oven and fricassee with fresh vegetables, while the chef’s hands also produced tuna salads (instead of tuna they had chickpeas), as well as penne Bolognese with soy mince. It was definitely something unforgettable for locals and visitors and set the start of vegan festivals that can engage a lot of people!

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