The custom of hosting religious symbols (mainly portable icons) in houses is greatly widespread in Sikinos. The hosts of these religious symbols are called “panigirades” and every time they take an icon home, they undertake to keep it for a year and “honour” it daily, by keeping its holy candle burning day and night. After that they undertake the organization of the festival on the day of the celebration of the icons’ honoured saints. Afterwards they pass the holy icons to their successors according to the relevant waiting list.
The priest typically visits the house of the “panigiras” escorted by the chanters and the faithful, where after he prays for the health of him and his family, “panigiras” is left walking first along with the icon during the procession.
There are five big Orthodox festivals in Sikinos at the respective churches of Chora and the countryside:
– the Dormition of Virgin Mary, on August 15
– the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, on September 14
– the Presentation of Virgin Mary on November 21
– the celebration of Zoodochos Pigi, on the Friday of Easter Week
– the first Sunday of the Great Lent (Sunday of Orthodoxy) when Pantanassa is celebrated.