Crete diet a big draw at Rethymno.
Regular holiday visitors to Crete will know of the Rethymnon Wine Festival which has been a big tourist draw for years. This July however it goes under a new name of the Rethymnon Cretan Diet Festival. A strange name but the programme still includes plenty of wine in the typical Greek tradition.
This year's festival is held in the city's Municipal Garden and as well as wine and dance it will also celebrate the Cretan diet.
The Cretan Diet Festival combines two successful events under one umbrella. One is known to generations as the 'Wine & Traditional Products Festival' and the second and most recent exhibition on 'Agro -Tourism'.
By marrying these two successful local events, organisers hope to highlight the Cretan diet but offering Cretan wine, taste traditional food from fresh ingredients of the Cretan land and listen to traditional Cretan music from local artists.
There are concerts from Schima Logou playing the Cretan lyre and bouzouki as well as alternative music band Nychtovates. On the food front chefs of Rethymno Fanourakis Stelios and Panagiotakis Michalis prepare dishes made with traditional sausages from Vavourakis Farm while parents and children make pies, bread and recipes with herbs and spices from Crete with the help of well-known chef Yannis Baxevanis.
There are lots of other concerts and exhibitions including a photograph exhibition by Andreas Smaragdis, Cretan traditional music dances from folk dance group Erofili while Nikos Pilavios, a well-known Greek storyteller, presents his stories through drama games for kids with the help of his Magic Pen and the painter Stefania Tapta.
The full programme and festival details can be found here, in .pdf format
For many years, the Touring Club of Rethymnon, organised the Rethymnon Wine Festival where an entrance fee was charged, you bought a carafe and some glasses, and you washed down as much wine as you wanted.
In 2008 the municipality of Rethymnon decide to end the festival but revived it the following year and have given it a new lease of life again this year.
The Cretan diet has been the object of intensive scientific research during the past years. Results from the studies suggest it guards against several chronic diseases, including cancer and heart disease.