The role of local festivals in the economic, social and cultural sustainability of communities has been highlighted in the international literature. Education plays an important role in maintaining and promoting them. Education is an essential tool for achieving sustainability. People around the world recognize that current economic growth trends are unsustainable and that public knowledge, education and understanding are the keys to achieving them.
Education for Sustainable Development aims to promote teaching that respects traditional knowledge, traditional local festivals and cultural heritage. In addition it promotes cultural sustainability and encourages the use of local languages in education. Local knowledge and local cultural heritage are the repositories of diversity and key resources for understanding the past and their continuation in the future of local communities. Festivals and local celebrations are factors that through education can be maintained and promoted, thus contributing to the cultural sustainability and sustainable development of local communities.
The present research aims to detect and record the knowledge and views of representatives of cultural institutions and citizens of the island of Rhodes on cultural sustainability and in particular on the sustainable development and evolution of festivals and folk festivals and the role of education in conservation, promotion and utilization of local festivals, fests and its role in the sustainable development of local communities.
It was a field research and the island of Rhodes in Greece was selected as a case study. The research took place during the period from November 2019 to February 2020. Semi-structured interviews were conducted. The sample was consisted of 50 representatives of cultural institutions and 50 citizens - residents of the villages of the island of Rhodes.
The results show that the representatives of the cultural institutions and the inhabitants of the villages are aware of the importance of the festivals and the folk festivals in the preservation of the cultural heritage. It is understood that the festivals and folk festivals contribute to the sustainable development of their area, both economically and environmentally, as they are presented informed and ready for their sustainable management. They consider the festivals to be a means of communication and information for both the local community and the wider region. The contribution of education is necessary for the better understanding and development of the local cultural sustainability.
They believe that the cultural sustainability and sustainable development of local communities can be achieved through formal education at all levels and most of them state that it is necessary to introduce and teach "special" courses on local history, local tradition and culture.
The results of the research are considered important and satisfactory, as they showed the need for preservation and sustainable development of festivals and folk festivals as a means of information and knowledge of local culture and folk tradition.