welcome // the festival // program // the emperor's nightingale // 10 stops around china // concerts // blooming of time // workshops

// afternoon zone // exhibitions // audiovisual material // organizing team // sponsors

«You are reaching the heavenly kingdom which, they say, is made of mud brought down by the rivers, and of the ashes -the hair, brains, flesh-  of the ancestors. What do you expect to understand?»

Nikos Kazantzakis, Japan-China

The Kazantzakis Museum, in cooperation with the Region of Crete, the China Cultural Center in Athens, the Municipality of Archanes-Asterousia, and with the kind sponsorship by Vaggelis Marinakis, for another year takes the road of Nikos Kazantzakis’ travelling lines and is getting ready for the 4th International Art & Literature Festival, setting sail for the turtle of nations!

The starting point of this year's exploration is the author’s travel book "Japan-China" from his two journeys to the Far East: The first in 1935, and his last journey in 1957, written by his wife Helen. Nowadays travelling may be easier than in those times, but China and Japan are so distant and exotic, that time would fail us if we tried to explore them at once. We also said it is time to stop confusing them here in the West ... So we first plotted our course to China...

From 8 to 14 July, we are going to meet the mysterious turtle of the deep east, the explosive country of the dragon and the ancestors, of the fairy tales, of numberless gods and of the sacred flowers, whose symbol is the silkworm! The choreographer Konstantinos Tsakirelis signs the Artistic Direction of this year's festival and promises us a vivid journey in China's history and culture through Nikos Kazantzakis’ eyes.

The festival is held with the support of a creative and interdisciplinary team of partners, with Chryssa Mavrokosta at the Production Management, and Miao Bin (Meet Culture) at the Production Management of Chinese groups, a passionate team of volunteers, the Cultural Association and the citizens of the village of Myrtia, the Museum’s main sponsor Vaggelis Marinakis, and many other sponsors and friends.

This trip gives the established Art & Literature Festival an international character, hosting and joining artists from Crete and the rest of Greece, Europe and, of course, China! Also, the festival itself will be hosted not only in the village of Myrtia, but also in Heraklion city... Dear friends and explorers, lovers of Kazantzakis, of poetry, myths and spectacles ... be prepared! The notes are highly desirable, the legs and the brushes are running, the theaters will be fully packed, the workshops will be incredibly busy, the stories will begin... and you need to know how to get around in the Far East! So pay attention to the "Traveling China" event programme!

"Traveling China ..." includes a series of Core and Side Events that will take place in the village of Myrtia and the Astoria Theatre in the city of Heraklion. For the first time, the festival includes performances and workshops requiring a ticket or the pre-booking of seats and places, however, open events without any precondition are also included, continuing the tradition of the previous years.


Great dancers, actors, musicians, artists from Crete and the rest of Greece, Europe and China will present their unique work and match their arts in the Festival's Main Events, which will take place in the village of Myrtia and the Astoria Theatre. The spectators, depending on which events they want to attend, will need to buy tickets or get a Free Entry Pass.


The festival’s invited artists are getting off the stage and along with other invited teachers and creators, are becoming the hosts of the festival’s Seminars and Afternoon Zone. Throughout the whole duration of the festival, the public will be able to visit the Exhibitions that will be hosted in Myrtia. Prior reservation is required for all workshops, with or without an attendance fee.