New year’s day
In the eve morning houses and bakeries smell wonderful from all those great traditional bakery products. The locals knead the “kouloura”, big round bread with a cross on it, and “strinaki”, a smaller festive loaf. The first one is hung in the kitchen and stays there for the whole year, while the second one is placed in the iconostasis of the house for prosperity. On the same day, children go out in the streets and sing the carols. In the morning of the New Year’s Day a chosen member of the family used to bring water in a pitcher from the closest public fountain on the condition that they would not speak to anyone on the way home, despite the neighbors teasing him/ her. He or she, who would bring the “silence water” home safe, would have a good year.
At the night of Resurrection, outside the churches, the most bold locals are engaged in a quite dangerous game, that of exploding extemporary fireworks. The following day, Lampri, is completely different from the events of the rest Orthodox Church, since all celebrations are mostly dedicated to Virgin Mary instead of her resurrected Son.
On Easter Sunday the three-day litany of the icon of Panagia Odigitria (“Virgin Mary Guide Leader”) begins in the whole island. Throughout the day the icon along with the crowd of worshippers and the sounds of fireworks passes by the houses of Chora, which open their doors and offer treats. At the same night the icon is transferred to Ano Meria, where the litany takes place on Easter Monday and on Tuesday it descends all the way to Karavostasis. As soon as the litanies in the land are over, the fishermen take the venerable icon with their boats all the way to Chrysospilia, depending always on the weather conditions.
Every summer, 3 great festivals take place on the island at the respective church:
-on July 27th in honor of Agios Panteleimonas
-on August 6th for the Transfiguration of Jesus
-on August 15th for the Dormition of the Virgin Mary
Most of Folegandros people are married according to tradition in Agios Nikolaos church in Chora. The Wedding Ceremony is the same as for the rest Orthodox people and the guests throw plenty of rice at the couple. What differentiates the event is the “zygies” (duet of violin and lute) that accompanies the bride and groom to the church and the fact that instead of bonbons the guests are offered pasteli and raki.