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AEGEAN ISLANDS

Festivals and Celebrates

Every village on Karpathos has at least one central church dedicated to the patron saint of the village. Once a year festivities are held in their honor in each village featuring traditional food that seems to have a connection with the “Agapes” of the early Christian era (the shared suppers of the early Christians with the poor), Karpathian mantinades and dancing.  

 

Pigadia

-         The celebrations of the church of the Annunciation are on March 25

-         The celebrations of the church of Agioi Apostoloi are on June 29

-         The celebrations of the chapel of Panagia Larniotisa are on September 7

-         The celebrations of the chapel of Zoodohos Pigi are on Good Friday

 

Aperi

-         The celebrations of the church of Agios Haralampos are on February 10

-         The celebrations of the church of the Transfiguration of Jesus are on August 6

-         The celebrations of the church of the Assumption of Mary are on August 15

-         The celebrations of the chapel of Panagia of Mertonas are on August 23

-         The celebrations of the chapel of Panagia (or Kyra Panagia) are on August 23

 

Volada

-         The celebrations of the church of the Nativity of Mary are on September 8

-         The celebrations of the church of Michael, the Archangel in Lastos are on November 7

Othos

-         The celebrations of the church of the Transfiguration of Jesus are on August 6

-         The celebrations of the church of Agios Panteleimonas at Stes are on July 27

-         The celebrations of the chapel of Panagia Ginatou are on September 8

-         The celebrations of the church of Agios Simeon are on September 1

 

Pyles

-         The celebrations of the church of the Assumption of Mary are on August 15

-         The celebrations of the church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross are on September 14

 

Arkasa

- The celebrations of the church of the Presentation of Jesus are on February 2

- The celebrations of the church of Agios Nikolaos at Finiki are on December 6

 

Menetes

-         The celebrations of the church of the Assumption of Mary are on August 15

-         The celebrations of the church of Agios Ioannis at Afiartis are on August 29

-         The celebrations of the church of Agia Marina are on July 17

 

Mesohori

-         The celebrations of the church of Panagia Vrysiani are on September 8

-         The celebrations of the church of Agios Georgios at Lefkos are on Easter Tuesday

 

Spoa

-         The celebrations of the church of Agios Georgios are on November 3

-         The celebrations of the church of Eftabatousa at Agios Nikolaos are on August 23 

-         The celebrations of the church of Agios Nikolaos are on December 6

 

Olympos

- The celebrations of the church of the Assumption of Mary are on August 15

- The celebrations of the church of Pera Panagia are on March 25

- The celebrations of the church of Agios Ioannis at Vroukounta are on August 29

- The festivities of the church of Michael, the Archangel are held on November 8 at the small coastal settlement of Tristomo

- The festivities of the church of Agios Minas are held on November 11 at the Filios area

- The Resurection of Jesus is celebrated a second time on Easter Sunday and this constitutes the main celebration of His Resurection for Olympos

- The celebrations of Zoodohos Pigi are held on Good Friday at Diafani

- The celebrations of Agios Panteleimonas are held on July 26 and 27 at the islet of Saria  

- The celebrations for the Transfiguration of Jesus are held on August 6

- The celebrations for the Assumption of Mary are held on August 15

- The festivities of Agios Ioannis are held at Vroukounta  

- The celebrations for the Nativity of Mary are held on September 8

- The celebrations for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross are held on September 14 at the Potamos area

Ιnfo

During these festivals the women in the village of Olympos wear traditional multicolored outfits with two lines of gold coins over their chests and a headscarf.

 

The “kanakara” and the “kanakaris” of Karpathos

 

In Karpathos the term “kanakaris” was used to describe the rich landowners of the Ottoman Greece period. The headmen of every community that had religious, administrative, judicial and legislative power originated from this powerful class.  

The “kanakaris” was at the top of the social and economic pyramid until the early 20th century. Those who belonged to this class owned churches, windmills, watermills and land and also had certain special privileges. In Olympos, for example, their houses were at the most prominent position of the village overlooking the sea. A part from that, the fact that they owned and had the exclusive right to use the church of the Assumption of Mary, which is located at the centre of the village, was a symbol of their social power.

A special inheritance system was in place for the “kanakaris” and the “kanakara” (which is the female form of the term), namely the custom of birthright, the provisions of which had been approved by the mayors of the island by vote on February 8, 1864.  

The main concern was to preserve the assets that each spouse had inherited from his parents intact. The firstborn son, the “kanakaris”, would obtain his father’s assets that his father had inherited from his grandfather. Similarly, the firstborn daughter, the “kanakara”, would obtain her mother’s assets, namely the house, land, furniture, clothes, some money and objects of value that her mother had inherited from her grandmother.

This practice that resulted in passing down the family name and allocating the family assets unevenly in favor of the firstborns was a defense mechanism aiming at assembling and preserving the economic power of the family. The Church disapproved of the practice calling it destructive and unfair to the rest of the children of a family that couldn’t start a family of their own without assets and were either forced to migrate or work at the fields of the firstborns as servants. In fact, not only the Church but also the Qadi, the Muslim religious judge, used to intervene by issuing circulars and interfering in settlements regarding inheritance disputes.

This custom started losing ground after 1920 when an opposite inheritance practice became popular throughout the island. After the liberation of the Dodecanese in 1947 and the application of the Civil Code provisions of the Greek legislation regarding such matters the practice was abolished.

 

 

The Karpathian dialect

According to Konstantinos Minas, professor at the University of the Aegean, the inscriptions that were found in Karpathos show that the ancient Greek residents of the island belonged to the Doric ethnic group. Elements of the Doric Greek dialect can be traced in the Karpathian dialect today. Doric linguistic remnants include:

1. Using “a” (instead of “i”) in place names like Damatria, Ahousa, Kapos, Hales and in words like “kynomalea” (=sage), “bakkounia” (=poppy), “sakkatzo” (=to get sheeps and goats in an enclosed space), “synomalikos” (=a person of the same age).

2. Maintaining the pronunciation of “o” as “u” in words like “vrullo” and “goupias”.

3. Using “i” instead of “e” in words like “fleva” (=vein) that is pronounced “vlia”, “agalea” (=embrace) that is pronounced “angalia” and “lego” (=say) that is pronounced “lio”. 

4. Assimilating a nasal with a following voiceless stop, e.g. “(daganno) vakko” (= to bite), “tok kosmo” (=the world) instead of “ton kosmo”, “syppetheros” (=in-law) instead of “sympetheros”, “top pono” (= the pain) instead of “ton pono”, “lynnutte” (= they come loose) instead of “lynnunte” etc.

Apart from that, there are definitely remnants of the ancient Greek language in the Karpathian dialect, too. These are:

a) Maintaining the “n” at the end of a word, e.g. “irten enan apiddik k’ ifai tin amygdalea”

b) Pronouncing both double consonants in a word, e.g. “ammos” (=sand), “allos” (=other)

c) Prounouncing the greek consonant clusters βγ, βδ, γδ, ργ, ρδ as bg, bd, gd, pq, pd, e.g. “ravdi”, “evdoma”, “gdero”, “apga”, “skordos”

d) Maintaing the verb ending “-(s)ousin” of the third person plural of the present tense and consequently, the verb ending “-sasin” of the third person plural of the simple past tense, e.g., “lynnousin” (=they solve), “thenna lysousin” (=they will solve), “elysasin” (=they solved)

e) many lexical archaisms [e.g. “anobria” (=drought), “eikatzo” (=to suppose), “kolyo” (=to hinder), “(e)pairomai” (=to boast)]

 

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