It is a point of reference for Chania, and is organized every year on Good Friday in the village of Voukolies of the municipality of Platania.

The reason for the traditional bazaar of Voukolia which is essentially a market and livestock fair that gathers hundreds of small vendors but also a lot of people from every corner of Crete as well as visitors who are on the island for Easter.

“For us, the Voukolia bazaar is a special point of reference for the holiday season. As a municipality, we must preserve the tradition of the place and highlight it”, the mayor of Platanias, Yiannis Malandrakis, points out to the Athens Agency.

Shopping center with history

Voukolies, before and after World War II, was the commercial center of central and eastern Kissamos and part of central Selinos. The area, being agricultural and livestock, gathered people to sell and exchange products.

A bazaar, i.e. a place of public market, perhaps the only one in Crete, which started during the time of the Turkish occupation.

The bazaar of Voukolia in the past was one of the main places for financial transactions and social relations and was open every Saturday.

According to the testimonies of older residents, animals and vegetables were mainly traded there, but traders from Chania also sold various other items. The days when the bazaar reached its peak, were the eve of the fifteenth of August and Good Friday. In fact, on Good Friday, the neighborhood gatherings took place, which is why girls from the surrounding villages descended on Voukolies.

The bazaar in its heyday occupied the entire current square of Voukolia.

The animal trade was dominant. Shepherds brought whole herds of sheep, goats and oxen, which were slaughtered or sold there. In fact, the first infrastructure project done in Voukolies was a building for the stables of the animals, intended for the Saturday bazaar. It was built with the personal labor of the residents and is preserved to this day. It has occasionally housed various services and associations, while today it houses the municipality and the police.

The atmosphere was festive, as it was an opportunity for friends and relatives to meet again, since, as there were no hotels, those who came for the bazaar were forced to stay in the homes of friends and relatives.

On the eve of the bazaar, outdoor taverns were set up and they fried fish, potatoes, grilled meat, all with rudimentary equipment. On Good Friday many hochlii and many lenten were consumed and over a thousand animals were sold.

Today the bazaar of Voukoli retains many of its elements, however the commercial activity is clearly influenced and adapted to today’s market elements.