Fira feasts


Dates of feasts in Fira

July 20th: Prophet Helias church

August: Orthodox Cathedral - Hephaestia (3-day festival in the second forthnight of August which includes a mock eruption and fireworks)

September 17th: Common of feast of the Orthodox and the Catholic Church

The traditional feasts of Santorini are related to the religious culture of the locals and they are strictly connected with the churches and chapels built all over the island. To begin with, these local feasts which look like village parties as all the habitants of a town or city are supposed to take part, are known as” panigiri”. The date of a panigiri depends on the name day of the Saint to which the corresponding church has been dedicated. For instance, the name day of Prophet Helias is on July 20th. Consequently, the panigiri of Prophet Helias is taking place on that day, every year.

In general, the feast consists of ecclesiastical ceremonies, common dinners at the yard of the church and then singing and dancing. For this reason, small rooms were built next to the churches, used for storing the staff needed for organizing the feast, such as tables and chairs and cooking equipment. These feast houses where called “panigirospito”.

Some days before the feast, locals clean the church and decorate it with linen and flowers. On the eve of the feast, they store the food in the panigirospito and they go to the church in the evening. The ceremony includes a procession of the icon of the Saint in honor, which is attended by all the pilgrims. After the end of the ceremony, fires are set outside the church where big cauldrons with food are placed. People are gathered in the yard of the church drinking wine and dancing by the time the food is ready. After dinner they continue dancing until the next morning. Foreigners are always welcome at those feasts and treated with generosity!

Apart from Fira, panigiri are taking place in several areas of Santorini like:

Oia: January 1st (Saint Vasileios), February 2nd (Purification of the Virging church, Finikia), May 23rd (Saint George church), August 4th (Holy Seven Children church - Finikia), September 8th (Kira Panaghia church)

Perissa: August 29th (Saint John church), September 8th (Virgin of Katefiani church), September 14th (Holy Cross church)

Kamari: August 15th (Virgin of Episkopi church), Mid August (one week long marine festival of Kamari), September 24th (Virgin of Myrtidiotissa church)

Akrotiri: May 12th, (Saint Epifanios church), May 29th (Saint Theodosia church), August 6th (Transfiguration church), August 15th (Assumption church)

Megalochori: July 1st, (Saints Anargyroi church), August 15th (Virgin Mary church)

Monolithos: July 24th (Saint John church)

Skaros: December 25th (Virgin of Episkopi Gonias church)

Therasia: September 21st (Virgin Mary church)

Palea Kameni: November 8th