Πανηγύρια – Festivals
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Local festivals called “panigyria” , used to take place the day each Saint would be honored and the tradition was that every family would offer some meat, wine and bread, which would be shared amongst the villagers participating at the event. Nowadays Panijyris and other Soirées (balls organized mostly during winter months) are organized to raise some money for utility projects of each village, like the repairing of a road or paving of the village square or even for someone who may have a serious health issue and can not afford a surgery or another therapy. Therefor food and drinks offered at Panigyris have a price now.
Some of my favorite Panigyris, which I would recommend, because of the beautiful locations they’re taking place are these:
- 25th of March – At the monastery of Mavrianou (after Nas and Nanouras, if you drive west towards Karkinagri) – Starts at noon
- 23rd of April – At the chapel of St.George near Karavostamo (starts at noon and it is better you go early, because it is not very easy to find and in the afternoon food may have finished and musicians may leave to go to celebrate the Name day of their friends and relatives that didn’t join the panigyri). If Easter happens to be on the same day, the date is transferred.
- 24th of June – At the chapel of St.John near Christos Raches. Starts in the evening and after midnight they light fires to burn May Day wretahs, with everyone jumping over the fires. Can get preety crowded, but is a very nice experience nevertheless
- 30th of June – Αt St.Apostles in Pezi (Starts at noon)
- All Saints Day (usually in June, the date varies) – Droutsoulas (starts at noon)
- 27 of July – At the chapel of St.Panteleimon at Fidos -Starts at noon (over Avlaki, little before the village Stavlos we turn right on a dirt road)
- 6th of August – In Stavlos, over Avlaki- Starts in the evening
- 30 th of August – St.Alexandros near Kouniados on the way to Vrakades ( Starts at noon. Started some years ago in memory of the son of the person who build the church, who lost his life very young in an accident. It is open to everyone to join)
- 17th of September – In Monokampi – Starts at noon
- 20th of September – At the chapel of St.Stathis over Arethousa. Starts at noon. ( The dirt road that leads there is in very bad shape; so you will need at least a Jeep to get there in a vehicle. Alternatively there is a footpath of approximately 1-1 ½ hour that starts in Droutsoulas and leads to St.Stathis)
Note: If in the village that organizes the panigyri there has been a sudden death recently, usually the panigyri is cancelled