Festivities - Religious CelebrationsDuring summer, in Sithonia, feasts and religious celebrations are organized in most of the villages.
24/06 – Celebration in memory of John the Baptist.
One day before the celebrations’ actual date the followers search out the fields for a specific bush flower which flourishes exclusively these days and it is called “Kleidonas”. There is a saying about this plant that it has curative properties. For that reason they gather the flowers and create crowns that they use to decorate their bodies, their head, their houses’ doors or anything that needs to be relieved from pain or disease.
27/07 – Festivities of Saint Paraskeui in Aghios Nikolaos.
The celebration starts earlier of the Saint’s commemoration day. Every night a popular traditional feast is organized with local or foreign orchestras. The evening of the day before the celebration, the followers stay awake in the church yard.
During the celebration day, after the Divine Service, the followers offer a sweet treat called ‘biskotoloukoumo”.
15/08 – Festivities of Virgin Mary in Sarti.
It is one of the biggest feasts. After the procession of the Virgin Mary’s icon, celebrations are realized which are important as those of Holy Spirit’s day. They include musical events with popular and traditional music, dance events featuring traditional groups from Thrace, Macedonia, Pontos and the insular part of Greece. They also offer theatre performances for children or grown-ups, puppet theatre and pantomime.
15/09 Celebration of Saint Nikitas’ day.
A 3-day traditional feast takes place in Nikita celebrating Saint Nikitas’ day.
Religious Festivities of “Kourbania”
20/7 – Prophet Elias’ chapel in the top of the mountain.
22/7 – Saint Magdalini’s chapel out of Sykia village.
27/7 – Saint Panteleimon out of Sykia village.
Visiting Sithonia, you should not miss attending at least one of the religious festivities called "Kourbania" that are taking place during the celebration of various Saints’ day eve.
On the celebration evening, the most important vespers is taking place as well as the Saint’s icon procession. All preparations are made in the yard of the Saint’s church celebrated by both women and men. People that participate in these festivities called ‘Kourbantzides” gather from the local people food or money, usually from those who are named after the Saint’s name on celebration or those that have made an oblation to the Saint. These offerings are used for the creation of “Kourbani".
“Kourbani” is the name for food that is made of taurus, cow, billy goat or goat meat cooked in big casseroles with pasta. When the Saint’s day celebration coincides with a fast day, then “Kourbani” is made of pulses basically of chick-peas or beans and traditional rice (“lapas” or “haliahani”).
On the dawn of Saint’s celebration day, meat or pulses after being blessed by the priest are placed in big casseroles in the yard of the church in order to be boiled. Late at noon, when the cooking of “Kourbani” is completed and the Divine Service is over a priest blesses the “Kourbani”. Then the bells sound in order to remind people of coming to the church yard and collect some of food.