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Have you ever been to Santorini?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Religious Festivals – “Panigyria”

Religious festivals are celebrated in traditional way in Santorini.
No matter how isolated it might be every church has a small building nearby, the feast house (“panigyrospito”). Fully furnished with benches, tables and cooking equipment, it is here that the food served to worshippers is prepared. If the church is very small and there is not enough room in the feast house, the celebrants sit on the whitewashed stone benches in the churchyard.
Many of the island’s churches are privately owned. When this is the case, the family that owns the church sees to its maintenance, the needs of the visitors, as well as the preparations for the festival.
After te liturgy, the priest hands out the “artos” (white bread with anise seed or with mastic flavoring and sugar). Then, there is the procession of the icon of the honored saint in an atmosphere of particular piety. After the procession of the icon, the festival begins with wine, singing and dancing.

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