Xanthi is one of the prefectures of Greece. It is within the East Macedonia and Thrace periphery.
Xanthi has no or only one province and is the smallest prefecture in area and population in all of Thrace and is the westernmost. Of special interest in the Xanthi prefecture are the Byzantine castle around the old town of Xanthi and the subterranean Macedonian tombs in Komnina from the 2nd century BC. During the 19th century, local tobacco production and commerce developed rapidly. The manors of the old city, many of which are still intact, testify to the prosperity of the tobacco merchants of Xanthi during this period.
The modern city features parks, squares and modern housing, while there are a number of industrial units at its outskirts which provide employment to the locals. Moreover, Xanthi is the headquarters of the Polytechnic School of the Democritus University of Thrace. The city also features a vast array of restaurants, taverns, ouzeri, that serve local delicacies. Special mention must be granted to the seafood taverns, both in the city and those scattered around the town’s outskirts, near the sea.
The settlement’s preserved characteristics mostly reflect the 19th century, with the building process having started during its third decade (1830), as seen by the Christian churches around which the first settlements were established. The Old Town’s centre is Metropolis Square, around which are the city’s most significant buildings such as Timios Prodromos, Akathistos Hymnos, Pammegiston Taxiarhon, St.George and St. Vlasios, Metropolitan Mansion, Holy Metropolitan Church of Timios Prodromos , Kindergarten of Stalios , Municipal Gallery, Folklore Museum of Xanthi, City Hall of Xanthi, The Monastery of Panagia the Archaggeliotissa, Cultural and Intellectual Centre of Xanthi (Kapnapotheke)
Old Town Festival of Xanthi (“Giortes Palias Polis”)
On the first days of September, a big cultural festival takes place in the old town of Xanthi.
Festival of Xanthi (“Giortes Palias Polis”)
Its intention is the publicity and the development of the Old City. A great deal of cultural exhibits (concerts, theatrical performances, dances, theatrical shadow puppets and many athletic and spiritual activities) is organized. Also in the narrow lanes of the Old City many improvised taverns, from the Cultural Associations, function and give a distinguishing color, offering abundant wine and fascinating local appetizers, below nostalgic unforgettable melodies.
“Hatzidakio” Music Festival
It takes place in Xanthi, during the spring, in memory of music composer, Manos Hatzidakis, has been carried out in the recent years and is a custom already.
Youth Festival of Xanthi
The Youth Festival is a new custom in the cultural exhibits of Xanthi. The celebration coincides with the end of the school year and the protagonists are mainly the students where, with the municipal’s support, present the athletic and cultural acts, just as they comprehend. Dominating sign at the Festival is «Youth Festivals for children and not only».
Thracian Folklore Festival – Carnival of Xanthi
A festival that takes place annually in Xanthi, on February-March. The custom started in 1966 with the following aim: for the revival of morals and customs of Thrace and the publicity of wealthy folklore material. Apart from the folklore and cultural exhibits is the “Carnival “(“Karnavali”), which has been held in the Thracian Folklore festivals for thirty years. Dances, masquerades, choirs, concerts, drama performances, dance groups from all over the world are the theme of the Thracian Folklore Festival. Xanthi’s Carnival is considered to be the second biggest Carnival in Greece.
“Democritia” Festival in Avdera
The last ten days of July where in Avdera the “Democritia Festival” takes place and a lot of small events join it
Products and typical dishes
Xanthi is famous for its deserts and dried nuts. Plenty of caroches, Sutzuk loukoumia, pastelia, siropiasta, hazelnuts, almonds, etc., can be found in both the stores of the Old town, and the bazaar that is held every Saturday.
The main agricultural products -which are of the best quality-, are tobacco, cotton, corn, sugar beetroot, canned tomatoes (and its products), wheat, barley, potatoes. Besides, in the recent years wine production, asparagus and kiwi are in a developing progress.
Also, stock-raising of a great quality, such as sheeps, goats, porks and poultry is a crucial part of the local production system.
Finally, the activity in fishing and fish breeding brings a good quality in products such as dorado, labrus, mullet, sardines.