Are you traveling to Santorini around the middle of September this year? If you happen to be here on September 15th, you are in store to witness a spectacle from the volcano like no other!
Each year, Santorini celebrates the volcano in the middle of the caldera with a special festival called the Ifestia Festival or Ifaisteia. It’s a celebration entirely dedicated to Santorini’s volcano to commemorate the famous Minoan Eruption that took place around 1600BC, completely transforming the island to what we know and see today. Before that eruption, Santorini was known as Strongyle and was circular in shape. After this catastrophic eruption, the island was broken into 3 pieces and all its inhabitants vanished, only leaving traces of its ancient civilization. The influence of this eruption cannot be overrated as the magnitude and the impact of this volcanic eruption affected many civilizations along Europe, especially the Minoan Civilization and forever changed the course of European history.
The magnificent festival that takes place annually is a luminous display and reenactment of the volcanic explosion that took place over 3,600 years ago.
This popular volcano festival is the longest running festival in Santorini, which accidently and unexpectedly began in 1991. During a concert of a famous singer, while he was singing, fireworks that were detonated from the side of Santorini’s volcano started exploding. This interrupted the show causing great enthusiasm from the crowd, which added to the concert and provided a grand ending to the evening. Thanks to the huge appreciation of the audience, island officials decided to continue this spectacle of fireworks each year in celebration, remembrance and respect for the volcano.
In the past the festival has taken place in August, but the date has changed over the years to the 3rd Saturday in September as to keep up the tourist inflow as the season is drawing to a close. Every year, shortly after the sun sets, spectators can expect a grand firework display with top live musicians. The only variation is the musicians who are invited and the fireworks that are displayed. It is truly a unique experience, amusing the senses and sparking emotions from its pictures, colors and music! Many people plan their Santorini holiday to coincide with the festival as it’s an unforgettable experience, full of surprises.
To start things off, many explosion sounds are summoned from the volcano area to let people know when the show is about to begin and to claim their spot on the caldera. The most daring spectators, venture much closer to the event on small boats, anchored close to the volcano. To add to this, there are the huge cruise ships that station themselves inside the caldera. These ships, full of lights, offer a great view to their passengers, but the ships themselves are a beautiful image inside this space as well. With something different and exciting happening every year, the Ifestia firework show amuses its audience with a magical volcano reminiscent spectacle, accompanied with great music.
The explosions reach 90 miles in height, taking the place of magma and lava and creating a unique combination of light, sound and color, turning the night into day. The reenactment of this monumental event serves as a commemoration of how easy everything can be changed by nature. The spectacular show is made by fireworks flying out of the volcano, making it a stunning view. Not only the fireworks show, but also sound and light effects are used to reenact the lava flow and the explosions of the volcano.
This is an event one should experience at least once! To make it even more remarkable and memorable, I advise that you learn about this historical event and the civilization that thrived prior to its demise. The stories will take your imagination on journeys that seem to close to myths and fairytales.