Unveiling the Rich Heritage: Customs in Skiathos - a Land of Tradition

Customs in Skiathos - a Land of Tradition

Skiathos, a picturesque haven in the Aegean Sea, embraces its rich customs and traditions, weaving them seamlessly into the fabric of daily life for both its cherished residents and welcomed visitors.

The 21st of November marks a significant religious celebration on the island, dedicated to Panagia Kounistra, the patron saint. The devout procession carries the revered icon of the Panagia from the Metropolitan church of Skiathos to its discovery site at the Monastery of Panagia Kounistra, an enduring journey that unites the community in faith and reverence.

Customs in Skiathos - A Land of Tradition

Come the feast of Agios Nikolaos, the patron saint of sailors, Skiathos hosts a vibrant festival. Bourtzi stands adorned with a decorated ship, accompanied by smaller embellished vessels adorning houses throughout the island.

Apokries unfolds with joyous festivities, featuring the Skiathos Wedding and a competition for the finest traditional costume. Of particular interest is the elaborate women's attire, including a chemise, vest, stockings, "gournaki" (a felted cloth robe), "baboukli" (a velvet-sleeved waistcoat), "kouzouka" (sleeveless jacket with intricate decoration), petticoat, "mallina" (woolen underskirt), a gold belt, "zonari" (front-tied silk sash), and "bokstas" (a winter woolen fringed shawl), complemented by coin earrings, bracelets, rings, brooches, and a "koulaina" (a necklace of gold coins).

The aubade, a melodious dawn serenade, and the candlelit procession on March 25th, harken back to the years of Ottoman occupation, commemorating both the resurrection of Christ and the birth of the Greek State.

Discovering the Greek Islands
Skiathos Town

Easter on Skiathos is a captivating experience. Children, after attending the Thursday Holy Week service, carry reed crosses adorned with rosemary, violets, roses, lilies, and poppies, singing calanta (carols) as they go.

Good Friday embraces the Athonite tradition, commencing the Epitaphios at 1 am on Saturday morning. The solemn procession winds through Chora's cobbled streets, accompanied by the haunting melody of the Kamara, a traditional island song. At the Zoodochos Pigi festival, women clad in traditional costumes gracefully dance to the rhythm.

Historical echoes resound during the relocation of Skiathos to the Kastro, where Kamara was danced on the terrace. The festival of Agios Georgios, dedicated to the patron saint of riders, showcases exhilarating horse races that captivate onlookers.

September witnesses the solemn Katsonela, a commemorative event honoring the tragic sinking of the submarine Katsonis in 1943, an indelible chapter etched in Skiathos' history, claiming the lives of the valiant captain and 30 soldiers.

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