The Feasts of Sifnos
The Feasts of Sifnos

One of the most famous and unique customs of the island are its feasts, which take place on the day before the celebration of each saint. The particularity of the feasts of Sifnos lies in the custom of "panigiras", who organizes the feast.

This is the believer who keeps the icon of the Saint at his house throughout the year and returns it to the church on the day of the feast. He is the one who is in charge of the costs of the feast, the whitewashing of the church, the food (usually chickpea soup and lamb stew or cod during fasting period), the wine served during the feast as well as the musicians or "takimi", as the locals call the combination of violin and lute for songs and dances, that often last until dawn.

The icon, then, on the afternoon of the day before the name day of the Saint, is transferred to the church from the house of "panigiras" with a special ritual accompanied by the priest of the church and believers. A liturgy and then a feast in the courtyard of the church follow. The next morning the icon is taken by the next "panigiras" (the custom of panigiras is so popular on the island that there are "waiting lists" in the most sought after churches).

Indicative feasts:
May or June (moveable feast): on the Assumption Day, the feast of the patron of Sifnos, Panagia Chrissopigi
13 June: The feast of Agios Eliseus, at the eponymous church under Ai Nilias
12 July: The feast of Taxiarchis at the eponymous church in Vathis and Agios Silvestros (on the road to Cherronisos)
17 July (morning): The feast of Agia Marina at the eponymous church in Flabouro
19 July: The feast of Prophitis Helias at Ai Nilias Apsilos, at Prophitis Helias in Troulaki kai at Prophitis Helias tou Kontou
26 July: The feast of Agios Panteleimonas at Ai Polykarpo in Cherroniso
14 August: The feast of Panagia, at the churches of Platanissa, Toso Nero, Panagia Niliou, Poulati
(Because of the many churches that celebrate on August, 15, the day of the feast may be transferred)
28 August: The feast of Ai Giannis in Choni, Mavro Chorio, Siderou and Maggana
29 August (morning): The small feast at the church of Ai Giannis in Faros.
31 August: The feast of Agios Simeon at the eponymous church and at the church of Pantokratoras (on the way to Platis Gialos)
5 September: The feast of Taxiarchisin Vathi
6 September: The feast of Agios Sozon at Ai Sostis
7 September: The feast of the Nativity of Virgin Mary at the Monastery of Vryssi (or Vryssiani)
13 September: The feast of Holy Cross at the church of the Cross in Faros and in Choni (on the way to Cherronisos)
15 September: The feast of Agios Nikitas in Seladi