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άγιος επιφάνιος like we say.. sant Epiphany (photos to be updated)

May 10, 2011

When: 12th May Morning  Where: Akrotiri Western Square

What: just before  the end of the service  Priest and  folk holding the Holy Icon of St Epiphany are walking around the village like a religious parade. Bells are ringing and everyone is praying. It is not as religious as it sounds but it is culturally interesting.

The church is the only St Epiphany’s church in the Island and  one of the Oldest in Akrotiri. Locals and people from other villages are waiting for this festival all over the year and it is the first of the Three Main religous Festivals in Akrotiri (May 12th st Epiphany, May 29th st Theodosia, 15th August Assumption of Mary).

While people from Akrotiri (that live in Mainland Greece) celebrate the 29th May (St Theodosia’s day) with a great festival in Pireaus (near Athens), St Epiphany’s day is celebrated only in Akrotiri and those from Mainland Greece are taking ferries to visit the island and celebrate with the locals.

The church is private and belongs to Stolida’s (local nickname) family. After Service (before mid-day) the women of the family (they are many!) offer “panigiri”: food special prepared and blessed for this particular day. The food is usually meat, except Wednesdays and Fridays that they prepare fish (that applies to EVERY religious festival in Greece).

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