The Literature and Art Feasts were organised for the first time in 1955 (from the 11th to the 23rd of August) by the Music and Literature Club “Orfeas”, the Municipality of Lefkada and the Association of the Lefkadians of Attica through its then president Antonis Tzevelekis, after a three-year-long preparation. Since then they have been held every year, except in 1974, when they were cancelled because of the dramatic event in Cyprus.
The Feasts were the first try of decentralisation of such events away from the capital city of Athens, because they were the first that were held in the periphery of Greece. Along with the Festival of Athens they were one of the oldest cultural institutions of Greece.
Until 1961 these three co-organisers were responsible for the planning, organising and care of the Feasts, with the contribution of exquisite intellectuals of the region, with thematic events about the local and, in general, Ionian cultural environment, with parallel art events which continued during all the phases of the Feasts, up to nowadays, adapted to contemporary demands.
Since 1962 the opening of the Folklore Festival of Lefkada has been a part of the Feasts and from then on the two events take place in parallel.
The then newly founded Cultural centre of the Municipality of Lefkada takes on the organisation of the Feasts in 1979 with the purpose to cultivate and promote all kinds of intellectual, cultural and artistic activities of the people of the island. Furthermore, the free discussion with the public is inaugurated and established, just like the custom of awarding a Peace Medal (from 1983 to 1998).
Since 1996 the thematic of Literature has been assumed by the Society of Lefkadian Studies, by organising conferences and symposia associated with historical and philological topics of the cultural history of Lefkada and the Ionian Islands.
Up to today, the Literature and Art Feasts have been the highlight of the cultural and intellectual events of the summer on the island and include all forms of art.
During the Feasts great foreign orchestras and choirs, composers, soloists and chamber ensembles have performed in Lefkada. In August 1964 the insuperable soprano Maria Callas made a unique appearance.
In the field of theatre, the most famous Greek troupes and all national theatres have performed, presenting plays from the whole wide spectrum of the Greek and international repertoire. Recently, foreign troupes have also started performing.
In the field of Literature, Greek poets and authors, art critics, scientists, researchers etc have participated.
In the field of Dance, and mainly through the International Folklore Festival, many Greek and foreign groups have presented their artistic works.
The institution of the Literature and Art Feasts has been and still is the means that, through various cultural proceedings, offers international glamour to the island and promotes it culturally within the top events in the country.
Nowadays, the organisers are still trying to continuously upgrade the Feasts and their content, as they always look for new methods to support their functionality in a steady and modern way.