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Crete TOURnet: Home Crete Guide Crete and Culture Cretan People and Customs

Cretan People and Customs

Cretan costume from the area of Sfakia
Cretan costume from the area of Sfakia
The true Cretan people are among the tallest in Europe, which can be seen in the isolated mountain areas where the population has remained unchanged by outside influence. Cretans are a proud and independent people and their behaviour reflects their long history and their struggles against occupying forces.
Many traditions are preserved in the villages of Crete, especially in the more isolated ones. Among them are the Cretan wedding and the Cretan baptism. Both are special celebrations that may continue for several days. In the west of Crete they are characterized by the "rizitika tragoudia", which are very old songs, some of Byzantine origin. Dancing, eating, drinking, and shooting guns into the air, are all part of the celebrations.
Grape-gathering, wine-making and tsikoudia-making are activities enjoyed in the autumn every year. Wine-making involves crushing the grapes in special stone constructions called "patitiria". This is done by several people taking turns, walking or running in place on top of the grapes. While recovering from their exercise or waiting for their turn, the people consume food and wine. Tsikoudia is a strong local drink made from the remains in the patitiria, after most of the grape juice has been removed. This is allowed to ferment and then is distilled. Traditional methods and machinery are still used. The licensed owner of the still will often take time off his regular work to fulfil his function as village distiller in the autumn. Very often this still has been in his family for generations. People who come to make their tsikoudia often bring food to barbecue on the fire and the fresh tsikoudia is sampled copiously.

Photos of Cretan People and Customs:


Kretan Dancerin
Kretan Dancerin
Cretan Dancer
Cretan Dancer
Traditional Wedding
Traditional Wedding
Traditional Wedding
Traditional Wedding
Vine harvest
Vine harvest
Traditional Wedding
Traditional Wedding
Traditional Wedding
Traditional Wedding
Shepherd
Shepherd
Vine harvest
Vine harvest
Maxeroi
Maxeroi
Cretan Night
Cretan Night
Cretan Dancer
Cretan Dancer
Cretan dance troupe
Cretan dance troupe
Cretan dance troupe
Cretan dance troupe
Cretan shepherd,Iraklion
Cretan shepherd,Iraklion
Traditional Machinery
Traditional Machinery
Coffee in Paleohora
Coffee in Paleohora
A Cretan shepherd and his flock, Aptera
A Cretan shepherd and his flock, Aptera
Children dressed up during Apokreas
Children dressed up during Apokreas
Women in the village of Rodia
Women in the village of Rodia
Cretan costume from the area of Sfakia
Cretan costume from the area of Sfakia