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The Greek Panigiri; Celebrate Greek-Style!




"The Celebration" Illustration by Bill Papas Papasart.com
"The Celebration"
Illustration by Bill Papas
Papasart.com


During the summer months, all over Greece, from the tiniest of churches in the tiniest of villages, to the largest of cathedrals in the towns, Greeks keep a centuries old tradition alive; a tradition of celebrating the Name  Day of the town's main Saint; the "Panigiri".


 This jolly affair, with street markets, food vendors, and, in the evening, a gathering, usually in the village square, or any spare bit of land large enough, tables and chairs are set up, ready for a real "Glendi", which, in English, more or less means having a right knees up!


 The aroma of roast sucking pig, (Whole pigs have been slowly roasting all day) wafts through the air, plastic buckets, filled with ice, hold cans of beer galore, but, the main attraction of the evening, the band!



Roast pork
Roast pork
The "Paniri pig" !


As night falls,  tables fill, the band tunes up,  roast pork is served in paper, eaten with fingers, the beer drunk from cans or paper cups.

 As more and more beer and wine is consumed, the merrier and merrier thing become;

 People are handing song requests to the band, which consists of a singer or two, bouzouki, bongo- 
like drums and the 'Piece de resistance' the clarinet, money is plastered onto the singer's forehead, 
 the higher the denomination of the note, the sooner you will hear your song!

 Everyone is up and dancing to the deafening sound of the clarinet, the only other thing to be heard is the occasional  'opa' from the wild dancers.

It is a sight to be seen...and heard!



Panigiri at Arethoussa, Ikaria island Photo; aegeanpan.com
Panigiri at Arethoussa, Ikaria island
Photo; aegeanpan.com


These celebrations continue all through the night into the early hours of the morning; you are not very happy if you happen to live near the area where all this is going on!

There is many a sore head the next morning!

These shenanigans are the highlight of the festival, the "leading up to it", so to speak,  has been  going on all day!

 There are rows of market stalls, selling anything imaginable, from wellington boots to decorative candles, from pots and pans to underwear (usually in enormous sizes!).

And then there's the mouthwatering street food; souvlaki and giros of course, and mountains of delicious "Loukoumades"; fried doughnut balls, drenched in pure Greek honey and dredged with ground cinnamon.



Street market, "Panigiri day", Loutraki
Street market, "Panigiri day", Loutraki



Long live Britain...bought in Greece! Panigiri Loutraki
Long live Britain...bought in Greece!
Panigiri Loutraki



Nightwear, and underwear, sizes for everyone! Loutraki Panigiri 
Nightwear, and underwear, sizes for everyone!
Loutraki Panigiri


Every year there are the Russians with their 'Brocante', don't think the word antiques really fits the bill, vintage maybe.

These are my favourite stalls, I could browse for hours.



Any old iron? Panagiri Loutraki
Any old iron?
Panagiri Loutraki



Brocante Panigiri Loutraki
Brocante
Panigiri Loutraki



The two crystal and silver decanters at the back looked very interesting!



Tiffany style glass and interesting porcelain  at the Panigiri, Loutraki
Tiffany style glass and interesting porcelain
 at the Panigiri, Loutraki



Bits and bobs, Tiffany style glass and interesting porcelain  at the Panigiri, Loutraki
Bits and bobs


Russian wares.Panigiri Loutraki
Russian wares.
Panigiri Loutraki



The nuns from the local Monastery with their honey and healing herbs
The nuns from the local Monastery with their honey and healing herbs
Panigiri Loutraki



Handmade leather sandals.Panigiri Loutraki
Handmade leather sandals.
Panigiri Loutraki


There is always food, souvlaki, corn on the cob, loukoumades and cold drinks galore.



Souvlaki Panigiri Loutraki
Souvlaki
Panigiri Loutraki

Loukoumades  fried doughnut balls, drenched in pure Greek honey and dredged with ground cinnamon. Panigiri Loutraki
Loukoumades;
  fried doughnut balls, drenched in pure Greek honey and dredged with ground cinnamon.
Panigiri Loutraki


This year I took my Granddaughter Melina, she loved it, the word "panigiri" (the name of feasts and festivals in general) must sound to her like the word for Paris, "Parisi ", as she told everyone;

 Yiayia (Grandma) was taking her to Paris...I wish!

This reminds me of my friend's son George, telling me he was going on holiday to kung fu!

 "Are you really George?"....he was going to Corfu!

 Sweet Melina was as good as gold and didn't ask for everything in sight, like my two children used to do, hmm, does that mean I had spoilt them?

 Papou (Grandpa) bought her a balloon and two sweet battery-operated toys, a dog and a rabbit, she had a great time making them kiss!



Mel at the Panigir, Loutraki
Mel at the Panigir, Loutraki



Kiss kiss
Kiss kiss



Underwear
See, I told you that the underwear always seems to be size XL !


 I noticed this year that the vendors of fake designer hand bags were not around, they are usually out in force.

 Maybe they were there another day, maybe the police had been making their rounds!

This picture is from last year.



Fake bags Panigiri bags!
Fake !
Panigiri bags!




And no, I did not buy my bag here!



Greeker Than The Greeks
Thinking about the" Panigiri Pig"



We enjoyed our day at the Loutraki Panigiri, I have never missed one yet!

It seems to become smaller every year, is this because of the financial crisis here in Greece or is the tradition slowly dying out, I hope not the latter.



Eating candy floss at my first ever visit to a panigiri
Eating candy floss at my first ever visit to a panigiri



We bought our roast pork..."The panigiri pig" and will be eating it all week, last night I had a pork sandwich and today we had it cold with salad and homemade tzatziki, still some left, it's like the Christmas turkey!



Pork sandwich
Panigiri pig sandwich



  homemade tzatziki
 Again with my homemade tzatziki


       September 7th is the feast day of our local church, Panagia Giatrissa (Virgin Mary The Healer) Loutraki.



Panagia Giatrissa ( Virgin Mary The Healer)
Panagia Giatrissa ( Virgin Mary The Healer) all trimmed up for the Panigiri festival.



The icon of The Virgin Mary paraded through the town in the evening, lead by Father Nikos , carried by the Poseidon handball team of Loutraki.




The icon Passing through the town centre
Passing through the town center
Panigiri Loutraki


We will be there again next year.

Weather permitting!

The saying goes, here in Loutraki;

 It always, but always rains on the day of the Loutraki Panigiri

And it usually does!


9 comments:

  1. Lovely - keep up the good work :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. great post Sue !!!!!!!
    Tassos

    ReplyDelete
  3. great pics Sue!! especially sweet Mel <3

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great to read this again.
    I do like the look of those stalls selling bric-a-brac
    Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilary, the same stalls will hopefully be there again this year, let's see if anything catches my eye!
      Susan. x

      Delete
  5. Oh, how much I miss my country!!! Thank you for this awesome review of Panigiri. My best one was on the top of a mountain in Samos quite a few years ago. I danced for two hours straight after several glasses of the most delicious wine. Driving (not me) down the mountain in the week hours of the morning was not fun but worth having been up there.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you Catherine,
    All the best panagiris happen at the top of a mountain!
    I can just picture you on the way back down, yes, definitely worth it!
    Hope it's not too long until you get to visit another one, up a mountain or not!!
    Susan. x

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for reading my blog, I am always absolutely delighted to hear your thoughts, ideas or suggestions.
They make all my efforts worthwhile,.

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Thanks,
Susan.x

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