International ''Pierides Musses'' Folk Festival

During the first half of July every year, continues the great international celebration that every year is filling the corners of Pieria with music, dance, song, colours, youth, energy, friendship and communication, traditional folk artists from all around the world.

The festival continues because since 1988 when the Estia Pieridon Musson was incorporated in the great international family of Organizers of International Festivals of Tradition and Folk Art (CIOFF), the organizing Group, officers, partners and every Participant have the opportunity every year to enjoy and experience the pleasures of such international communication.

Besides the week, when the foreign missions are hosted in Pieria, the communication is ongoing with international exchanges during when before or after our event, we have the opportunity to participate in a festival or two of other countries. With personal contacts, cooperation, exchange views, experiences, reviews, information on the level and the artistic value of the moving assemblies every year worldwide and the level and quality of the various international festivals, which we are called to participate. With the exchange of greetings and congratulation messages for major festivals of the year and successes in personal or collective level. By maintaining long-term friendship with people from all over the world, which at times they are given the opportunity to meet, through the annual global conferences, meetings areas, seminars, symposia, exhibitions, workshops and above all the international festivals.

It is obvious that events of this type provide the opportunity throughout the year to whoever wants to escape from the everyday life’s routine and to experience the values and the opportunities given to him to vary his life and get to know corners of the world that no "tourist package" includes them in its program.

History and Evolution

Occasionally both Estia Pieridon Musson, and other cultural associations of Pieria, made significant initiatives and implemented several innovative ideas for several issues of tradition and culture. Initiatives, which made a great contribution to the society of our region and received the admiration and congratulations of every viewer and listener of each event. Most of them even thought they were remarkable and qualitative, failed to overcome the limits of our city or county and simply left a touch of amateur creativity to the history of Pieria. The International Festival of Tradition "Pierides Mouses" undergoing its fourth period and its 38th year of operation, was fortunate enough to not only show itself in Pieria and Katerini in particular, but also to overcome the limits of Greece.

First period: It began in 1972 as part of the Olympus Festival and as such this system worked until 1988. The 17 years of ''service'' were basic and essential criterion for it to join the international family of CIOFF, in work of the World Congress of CIOFF in Seoul, Korea.

Second period: from 1989-1992 it’s working with the international terms of CIOFF in the form of Olympus Festival – International Folklore Week, having achieved recognition from the CIOFF. This period, although brief, defines the future shape of the organization since it applies the basic principles of an international festival folklore.

Third period: From 1993-2001 it autonomies from the Olympus Festival and it is named "International Folklore Festival of Olympus". It now has the form and the functionality that the almost 300 ''siblings'' festivals have that take place in all over the world.

Fourth period: From 2002 onwards it is renamed to "International Pierides Musses Folk Festival" and it has already completed 38 years continuous presence of which the last 20 as International Festival of CIOFF level.

Through this friction with the subject, it achieved slowly and methodically with care to establish a satisfactory level of quality, which classified it within the international festivals that fulfil the international standards. This is mainly due to the support we had almost on a permanent basis either from the formal state, or by the local government, or even sometimes by private initiative and always due to the charitable and selfless work of volunteers in each frame of the steering group. Especially Municipality of Katerini and T.E.D.K. of Pieria, with the new concept of the international promotion of the city and the county and appreciating the quality and the level of the specific action, taking over as hosts, to support the program co-organizing various events of the main or the secondary program. Note that all the previous years the Municipality always hosted the main event of the International Festival and welcomed the representations of the foreign groups exchanging gifts and souvenirs with their leaders.

In recent years there has been an effort to "socialize" part of the festival with anyone interested in participating in events. It has already been discussed through the Municipality of Katerini, the participation of the local cultural clubs operating in the city and there is satisfactory response. It was also asked from the commercial world and related initiatives are predicted through the Trade Association and the Chamber to use the week of events as a stimulation of the market of the town almost in the middle of summer.

Through the hosting of events in the regional municipalities of Pieria, we can steer the foreign missions towards the most beautiful corners of the county and perform within them, to inform them and guide them in those beauties, to make their stay memorable, because we intend to make them the living form of tourist commercial of Pieria worldwide.

Finally there is a possibility and it is within the aims of the whole organization to allocate the bands to entertain the inmates of foundations with people, who have health problems, nursing homes, orphanages, etc.

Instead of epilogue

The fact that it is included within about 300 of its kind worldwide and projects Pieria, the court of Olympus, to the whole world, is itself a serious cause to be embraced and supported, not as an activity of Estia Pieridon Musson, but as a matter of city and county. Every international Festival of the world takes place in small provincial towns. Each one of them is supported by the Ministries of Culture of their countries, local government, state or private television channels and large multinational corporations and bigger European of them are integrated and funded by community programs of regional development. We believe that the local authorities and our local society began to realize the value and the usefulness of the organization, so it achieves even more prestige and recognition.