Every year, around the end of October until mid-December, aromas of raki and local dishes overwhelm Cretan countryside along with traditional music and friendly, hospitable people. It is the period of “rakokazana”.
“Rakokazana” or “kazanemata” as the locals call it, is the process through which raki is produced by distillation of grapes and more specifically, the pressed grapes used initially for the production of wine, in a traditional way. “Rakokazana” is something like a ritual for the Cretans since this tradition is deeply rooted in their culture. The leftovers of the grapes, after being left in barrels for 40 days, go through a distillation procedure which gives the fruity and delicious raki.
This is a call for celebration. A celebration that demands fun, food and good mood. Around the cauldron, the locals gather together to enjoy local food such as seasonal fruits and meats, to exchange the famous and spontaneous “mantinades” (Cretan little poems) and dance, celebrating with this joyful way the creation of the new and fresh raki.
Whether you are staying at Aisha Petite Suites or Villa Dimi, during this period, consider yourselves very lucky! It is very likely you will find yourself in a “rakokazano” in the prefecture of Chania. If you do not like the taste of raki, leave the glass full on the table and thank the one who offered it to you.
If you like its taste, just be careful. Drink slowly because after the first shot, there will be soon a second one and then a third. Be prepared to get drunk, it’s a sure thing!
This is one of the many aspects that make vacations in Chania this period, truly unique.