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Amorgos, Krikello – Festival of Stavros (Holy Cross)
On the island of Amorgos, the small church of Stavros (Holy Cross) in Krikello holds a festival of special beauty. The route to the chapel of Amorgos starts from Lozza, the lovely square of the village of Lagada. A wide, paved path leads to Panagia Panohoriani and then on to Portara, the entry to the Krikello region. A three-hour hike takes you to the chapel. Its date of construction unknown, the whitewashed church of Stavros along with some decaying stone pillars, are all that remain to memorialize the history of the region’s populace. With a vaulted roof, the church was built to conform to simple island architecture. It is built near the only well in the area, along with the smoky, festive cookhouse, where the food is prepared and distributed after the liturgy. Following the liturgy, the Feast of the Holy Cross begins and people start to celebrate. The tightness of the space also dictates the method of distribution, and, whether or not the wind is blowing, the celebrators huddle against the wall of the kitchen waiting their turn to enter the smoke-filled cabin to receive their portion, a dish of goat meat with potatoes and rice and then the local sweet, melomakarona, which are made with oranges and nuts.
Photo: Ilias Provopoulos