Every year on the small Greek island of Karpathos, a unique long-held tradition takes place from August 27-29 in which locals, pilgrims and visitors alike brave a two-hour hike to reach a chapel inside a cave.
Religious ceremonies take place in honor of Agios Ioannis, or Saint John, whose chapel is built inside the cave at the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Vrykous.
Following the religious vigils, a celebratory feast continues all night until the early morning hours — with impromptu songs and traditional dancing.
Because of its remote location, Karpathos’ approximately 6,300 inhabitants have preserved many traditional aspects pertaining to dress, customs and Greek dialect.
Among other lesser known islands, Karpathos is growing increasingly popular due to over-tourism on islands such as Mykonos and Santorini.
CNN Travel even made a recent trip to the island to explore what makes it so appealing.
For this year’s festival at Vrykounta, a pair of brothers traveled to Karpathos, where they photographed the island tradition in a captivating way.
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