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Culture Greece
By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor

Country guide

Living in Greece, Barbara and René Stoelite (Taschen).

Films

Greek has a long and rich cinematic history, with Greek films enjoying more domestic success than foreign films. Notable titles are:
(2003) A Touch of Spice, Tasos Boulmetis
(2004) Brides, Pantelis Voulgaris
(2007) El Greco, Yannis Smaragdis
(2009) Dogtooth, Yorgos Lanthimos
(2010) Attenberg, Athina Rachel Tsangari
(2011) Alps, Yorgos Lanthimos

Music

Greek music can conventionally be divided into Greek traditional music and more eastern sounding Byzantine music. In the 1960s folk music emerged, lead by Dionysis Savvopoulos' breakthrough album Fortighó in 1966. This style evolved, taking influence from French chansons and the sounds of Americans such as Bob Dylan, intermingled with Macedonian folk music. Political songs also surged to popularity in the 1970s and the 1980s saw the emergence of pop and soft rock. Nowadays visitors to Greece will hear a pop-dominated music scene, and big contemporary names include Despina Vandi, Anna Vissi, Sakis Rouvas, Elena Paparizou, and Pantazis.

historyDates

From 2800 BC: the Minoan civilization blossomed on the island.
1450 BC: the expansion of the Minoan civilization was interrupted by the explosion of the Santorini volcano.
From 69 to 330 BC: the Romans occupied the island.
From 824 to 951: Crete was in the hands of the Arabs.
1204: the island came under Venetian domination.
1645: the Ottoman Empire took over.
1669: the Turks controlled the island.
1913: Crete was attached to Greece.
1941: the Germans attacked and invaded the island.
1974: the Republic of Greece was declared.
1981: Greece joined the European Union; the Socialist party and Andréas Papandréou became Prime Minister.
1985: Socialist Khristos Sardzetakis was elected President of the Republic.
1990: Costas Karamanlis became President, and Constantin Mitsotakis Prime Minister.
1993: Andreas Papandreou was re-elected Prime Minister.
1996: Papandréou resigned because of poor health, and died a few months lather. Socialist Costas Simitis succeeded him and held office for 2 consecutive terms.
2004: Right-wing Karamanlis took office, and remained for 2 consecutive terms.
2004: Athens was host to the Olympic Games.
2009: Socialist George Papandreou took the office of Prime Minister
2009-2012: Greece's economy took a devastating blow from the economic crisis.

Key dates

1 Jan: New Year's Day
6 Jan: Epiphany
25 March: Independence Day
22 April: Orthodox Good Friday
25 April: Orthodox Easter Monday
1 May: Labour Day
13 June: Orthodox Whit Monday
mid-July: Rethymno wine celebration
July and August: Heraklion Festival.
15 August: Assumption
mid-August: Sitia wine celebration
28 Oct: Ochi Day
25 Dec: Christmas
26 Dec: Boxing Day