Popular Art - Halkidiki

Popular Art
'Painted wooden cart at Ouranopoli - Halkidiki' - Halkidiki
'Painted wooden cart at Ouranopoli - Halkidiki' - Attribution: Dimitris Siskopoulos

Local people of Halkidiki, long before tourism has become the key and main source of economy, have developed an important tradition in farming and processing high quality products. The soil supports olive-cultivation, sheep-livestock and apiculture. In Melitonas, Pallini, the foot of Cholomontas and the valleys in Polygyros, Nea Moudania and Olynthos produce great amounts of olives. North Halkidiki hosts many sheep and goat units, while Nikiti, Cassandra and Arnea have a significant contribution in honey production. Moreover, its the county with the biggest and possibly the most important wine production in Greece, since the first foreign varieties where cultivated in Porto Carras and Agios Pavlos is where vine-industry Tsantali, the biggest one in Greece has its headquarters and owns its biggest vineyard in Mount Athos.

Popular culture in Halkidiki has been formed by the special geographical characteristics of the area as well as by its proximity with Mount Athos and its intense influence, by the areas inhabitance by refugees from Asia Minor and the coasts of Black Sea during Smyrni's Big Fire who brought their own culture and traditions.

The woven textile tradition in Halkidiki is renowned all over Greece for the quality and the great variety of its colorful products, with the Arnea technique being the most special one, where you can also buy a product made by local female technician at a special Arnea store.

Moreover, Mount Athos' influence has led to a long term painting tradition on religious patterns, which reached its highest peak during 18h century with the formation of a Painting School in Galatista. Finally, the beautiful architecture of many buildings should be mentioned, a special and unique composition of Macedonian, neoclassical and ottoman elements.