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AEGEAN ISLANDS

Festivals and Customs

The religious sentiment on the island of Tinos is especially strong. Many inhabitants hold small churches and country chapels. On the day of celebration of the holy day of a saint, a festival takes place with the care of the owner and his family, who prepare the church, prepare food and invite violinists. The people of Tinos are especially hospitable; thus, every visitor who finds himself in the area on the day of the festival is welcome to eat, drink, and dance.

The largest religious celebration on the island is the celebration of the Assumption of the Virgin on August 15th. It starts on the previous evening with the celebratory evening liturgy. The next morning, there is a procession with the Icon of the Virgin, with the participation of a multitude of people from all over Greece, dignitaries, and others.

On the evening before and on the day of the anniversary of the finding of the icon of the Virgin, on January 30th, there is an evening liturgy at Evreseos church, where the miraculous icon is moved. On the morning of the next day, a Holy Liturgy is held in the main church. In the afternoon, the icon is carried in a procession, following the same path that the local inhabitants followed on January 31, 1823.

On March 25, the festival of the Annunciation is held at the church of Megalochari, with processions and other rituals.

The Festival of Saint Pelagia (July 23) is equally important. On that day, the icon of the Virgin is taken to the Monastery of Kechrovouni. On that evening, the icon is returned by a procession on foot to the church of Megalochari in the town of Tinos (a distance of approximately 8 km). It is a moving sight.

- An interesting custom is the «Kavos», which is celebrated at Christmas in Tripotamos with early Christian, medieval, and Athonite features.

-On Tsiknopempti, the first day of Carnival, the custom of carnival dance and the Alphabet of Love, as it is called, is reenacted in Triantaros. It is accompanied by food offered to visitors.

- In Falatados, on the last Sunday of Carnival, a festival takes place with a different theme every year. Appetizers are offered and everyone dances to the music of traditional instruments such as the tsambouna, the violin, and the guitar.

 

Important festivals include the following:

In Vourniotissa (September 24th).

In Ktikado (Easter Monday).

In Lakkotiani near Ysternia (the Sunday after Easter).

In Vrisiotissa (May 1st).

In Kira Xeni (August 23rd).

 

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