At most times of the year some type of festival or event is happening somewhere in the Peloponnese region.  During the winter months in Patras the Carnival celebrations take place.  The festival, also taking place in several other countries around the world, is held by Christians to celebrate the pleasures of life before the fasting period of Lent begins.  In Patras, Carnival is held in January and February for several weeks up until Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.  The festivities consist of masquerade balls, parades, and fireworks.  Hotel rates are very expensive during this time.  Call the Patras Carnival Office for more details:  2610/226063.

Greek Independence Day, March 25th, is celebrated throughout Greece is a variety of celebrations.  In Peloponnese the city of Kalamata has its own Independence Day festivities on or around the actual date each year which include dancing, parades, music and fireworks.

Another Peloponnese Festival which may appeal to tourists is the Ancient Drama Festival in Epidauros.  Held on weekends from June through August, this festival stages performances of several Classical Greek plays in Epidauros' beautiful outdoor theatre.  More Information and tickets (17- 40 Euros) are available at  www.hellenicfestival.gr

For more information on Peloponnese's festivals visit the Greek Tourism website.