RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS (PANIGIRI)
As in most Aegean islands, religious feeling is strong in Santorini, whose religious festivals and customs are both numerous and diverse. These are the most important religious festivals in the island, celebrated with good food, music, plenty of wine and local dances:
- The Festival of Sotiros (“Saviour”) takes place in the village of Pyrgos on August 6. On the eve of the fest, young villagers steal basil pots from the gardens of young girls to decorate the dome of the church.
- There are many choices to consider when it comes to the celebrations of August 15 (or “Dekapendavgoustos”, the day of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven), one of the most important religious holidays in Greece. Different villages have different customs. For example in the village of Episkopi, on the eve of the festival villagers start preparing the beans and the fava dish in great cauldrons. For a memorable Dekapendavgoustos you can also visit the Church of Panagia of Platsani in Oia, the monastery of Prophet Elias in Pyrgos, or the Church of Panagia Myrtidiotissa in Kamari, etc.
- The Festival of the Cross takes place in Perissa on September 14.
- The festival of Agia Matrona takes place in the village of Finikia on October 20. Wine tasting events and contests are part of an unforgettable feast.
In Therasia, the most important festivals are the following:
- May 5: Agia Irini Church in Riva;
- May 21: Celebration of Saint Constantine’s Day, who is the patron saint of Manolas, the capital (or “Chora”) of Thirasia;
- June 24: Celebration of Saint John’s Day in Manolas;
- July 20: Celebration of Prophet Elias in Kera;
- August 15: The Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven in Kera;
- September 21: Festival of Panagia Giatrisa in Potamos;
- 21 November: Church of Panagia Eisodion in Agrilia.