Tinos, Komi, Festival of the St. John the Baptist
Komi, one of the most vibrant villages on the island, is built on the island’s largest and most fertile plain, the Livadi, which leads to the Kolibithra beach. The parish church of Komi is dedicated to the Martyrdom of Saint (Agios Ioannis) John the Baptist, where a vesper service in his honor is performed on the eve of the festival. Just next to the church is a large square with plane trees and the old laundry space of the village, where housewives used to do their laundry with water coming from a spring. The famous village festival with a traditional feast featuring local appetizers and nibbles takes place there every August 29th.
On the island of Tinos it is a tradition to whitewash inside and out every church whenever it celebrates the memory of the saint to whom it is dedicated, while women of the village clean up the area around the church, polish the candle-stands, and decorate the sanctuary with flowers. After Mass, treats are served in the courtyard. The festival sometimes culminates in the main square with balo and syrto dances to the sounds of musicians playing instruments based on the violin.
People celebrating their name-day open their homes to the public, having decorated their tables with beautiful dinner sets and white tablecloths. A bounty of local dishes is served with abundant quantities of wine until late in the evening with offerings of psarakia, meringues, pasteli, and xerotigana along with homemade raki. Tinos traditional dishes are artichokes cooked in a variety of ways, sun-dried tomatoes with batter, froutalia, savore with molasses, fried fish with petimezi sauce, pork sausages, the saltsisi, and the louza of Tinos. Cheeses include the famed graviera and the kopanisti. As for sweets, famous are the amygdalota, xerotigana, karidota, pasteli, loukoumi, and various kinds of halva as well as the renowned thyme honey of Tinos.