Paniyiri has grown to become Queensland’s signature celebration of all things Greek and the state’s largest cultural festival as well as the country’s longest running Greek festival.
The Paniyiri Greek Festival celebrated its 41th year with events culminating over the 19 and 20 May weekend and with more than 60,000 people taking part in this journey of discovery, culture and celebration.
One of the strongest and most vibrant Greek communities has been established in Brisbane since the 1920s, which is the reason that fired a group of Greek Australians with the passion to share their culture and love for all things Hellenic with Brisbane back in 1976. With overwhelming support for the event to happen annually, a traditional dance group was formed. On October 9, 1977, the Hellenic Dancers made their debut performance at the “Ekthisis Spectacular” and paved the way to the event growing into the two-day festival we know today – the state’s largest cultural festival and the country’s longest-running Greek festival.
The team created a platform introducing dance, music and Greek cuisine to the rest of the community, welcoming multiculturalism. In 41 years of Paniyiri, almost two million festival-goers have devoured well over five million honey puffs, rivers of thick sweet coffees, over four million Souvlaki, 25 tons Haloumi and countless calamari and Dolmades. Brisbane’s love of its famous Greek Festival knows few bounds!
Paniyiri is a community initiative of the 25,000-strong Greek community of South East Queensland. Funds raised are channeled back into the community via the Greek Orthodox Community of St George, Brisbane. It is Brisbane’s oldest Greek community established in the 1920s.