Visit Mykonos in October to uncover its calmer, more esoteric, albeit equally fascinating side. Let it all go amidst beautiful white and blue settings; but also have quite some fun on Halloween and Ohi Day.
The open-air clubs have packed it in. The superstar Dj’s and their groupies are busy chasing the sun elsewhere. The famous Greek singers are back in Athens. The mega yachts have departed and the only celebrity left in town is Petros the pelican. Mykonos in October is considerably different from its sizzling summer version. Still, the sun shines bright on most days, and the sea is warm enough for the braver swimmers -of course, the less bold types can always bask in Mykonos trademark light, lounging next to their private, heated pool at the Semeli.
Needless to say, the island’s emblematic attractions have not gone anywhere and are even more enchanting without the crowds. Also, the locals -by now rested and relaxed, after the frenetic high season- can show those few lucky visitors what the famous Mykonian hospitality is really all about. And though the epic 24/7 parties have paused, there is still plenty of fun to be had in Mykonos in October.
How to have fun in Mykonos in October: Halloween
Take Halloween for example. This holiday may be imported from the States, but Greeks generally jump at any chance of dressing up in costume: Apokries, just before Lent, is our national equivalent of Mardis Gras and is fervently celebrated with masquerade balls and parties, much in the same way as Halloween. Those two festivities don’t coincide in time, yet they are both rooted in archaic pagan customs. Halloween hails from a Celtic festival known as Samhain and Apokries is traced back to an Ancient Greek celebration dedicated to Dionysus, the god of wine and revelry. It is only logical then, that on an island whose patron Saint was none other than Dionysus, Apokries is a major highlight in the local social calendar. In recent years, this is starting to apply to Halloween too. Thanks to the joint influence of Hollywood horror movies and the thriving ex-pat community that lives in the country, this holiday has entered the Greek psyche with school dress-ups, Halloween parties and events. Kids in Mykonos will go trick or treating in their neighbourhoods and adults will have their share of fun with fancy dress parties to get them into the spirit of things.
Let’s not forget, after all, that Ancient Greece gave us spectacle, drama, and perhaps the world’s first ghost story when the Roman author Pliny the Younger wrote about the spectre of an old man with a long beard haunting his house in Athens in the first century A.D. Though it took them some time, Greeks are now beginning to embrace Halloween much in the same way as the rest of the Western world.
If you find yourselves in Mykonos at this time of the year, you’ll most likely discover a Halloween party complete with copious decor, wildly costumed guests, and cocktails fitting the motif. And it’ll be one with a front and centre view of the Aegean’s big blue. How about putting on a Greek mythology-inspired costume and joining the festivities?
Mykonos in October: Ohi Day
Mykonos in October is generally calm and quiet; a place to unwind and decompress amid the striking Cycladic landscape. But there will also be opportunities for letting your hair down. Halloween on the 31st is one of them. A few days before that, on the 28th of October, Greece celebrates one of its most important national holidays: Ohi day marks the date that this country said no to Nazism. Commemorating the courageous Davids who battle Goliaths for freedom and democracy, Ohi Day is fervently celebrated around Greece, in Cyprus and by all Greeks living around the world, with military and school parades and the white and blue flag hanging from almost every balcony.
As everywhere else in the country, Mykonians honour their ancestors who gave flesh and blood in the battle against the Nazis with a ceremony filled with pride and joy. At 11 am there is the schoolchildren’s parade: The eldest will march in traditional Mykonian costumes, whilst the crowd waves Greek flags and applauds. There are military marches too and even a marching band. There is also church service at the island’s various churches and chapels, while local officials will pay their respects by placing a leaf-laurel at a memorial stone dedicated to the dead of the war. The day shall be filled with songs and stories from that dark time, but also celebrations with traditional Greek dances, food and drink.
Enjoy Mykonos in October at the Semeli Luxury Boutique Hotel
Though the frenetic summer season is by now over, the Semeli Best 5star Luxury Hotel in Mykonos Town, is still open and eager to show you another -softer, more private but equally charming- side of the island. After all the weather still holds, with a significant amount of sunny days and balmy nights. Let’s take this opportunity to invite you, our dear friends and guests, to join us for Halloween and Ohi Day on the island of the winds. Contact us to arrange an unforgettable autumn visit to Mykonos.