In a few days it will be the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Crete. For this reason, the first ceremonies related to this took place today in the port of Chora Sfakion. The sick Sfakion played a special role in the events of eighty years ago. It was from here that, after the fighting ended between May 28 and June 1, 1941, about 15,000 Allied soldiers were evacuated to Egypt. The inhabitants of the Sfakia region played a large role during the German (and not only German) occupation by creating an active resistance movement.
In addition to today's speeches, a local team of dancers dressed in traditional costumes presented pentosals ( Πεντοζάλης ) . It is a spectacular war dance performed by men. The dancers dance in a row holding their arms, but the attention is drawn to the soloist, who always takes the outer place and performs spectacular jumps and stunts. During this time, the second dancer stands still to give the soloist a solid support. Men wear sarikas , or traditional black scarves, and specific βράκα ( vraka ) pants that enable such expressive and dynamic movements. Pentozali is a symbol of revolution, heroism but also hope.
The recording of today's dance is pretty poor, the resolution is also poor, but watch it. Cretan dances are exceptionally spectacular performances, and the Cretans themselves are attached to their traditions and folklore. Among other things, this is what determines the specific character of this island.
Monument and plaque commemorating the evacuation of the Allies from Chora Sfakion in 1941