After the liberation of Greece and the establishment of the Greek State, the Ionian Islands demanded their unification with Greece. Despite its strong objection, Britain-together with France and Russia-signed on the 5th of June1863 the Treaty of London, according to which Britain gave up its role as the protector of the Ionian Islands. On May 21st 1864 the unification of the Ionian Islands with Greece became official.
In Corfu, August is the month for village festivals or panigyri in Greek. A panegyris (Ancient Greek: πανήγυρις, “gathering”), is an Ancient Greek general, national or religious assembly. Each and every one was dedicated to the worship of a particular god.
It is also associated with saint days and holy festivals these days. Every week, there are several festivals going on across the island, some larger than others.
Each village celebrates the Saint whom the local church is named after. The celebrations begin with a church service, and are followed by a festival with live Greek music and traditional dancing, lots of souvlaki (and retsina!) and lamb on the spit.