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Paros, Kostos, Festival of St. Athanasios the Parian
One of the “balconies” of Paros, the village of Kostos, is built at an altitude of 160 m on the eastern slope of a mountain, 7 km form the main town of Parikia and just below quarries of the famed Parian marble. It is a small, picturesque village, with prerry white houses, chapels and narrow lanes. Among the village’s houses is one that belonged to the great “Teacher of the Greek Nation”, St. Athanasios the Parian (1721-1813), a prominent figure of 18th century monasticism.
All residents as well as numerous visitors participate with religious solemnity to the festival of St. Athanasios the Parian, attending vespers and, following the divine liturgy, contribute in their own way to the feast. Some bring the traditional alcoholic beverage, souma, or wine while others bring pies, revithada, or other delicacies they have prepared before at home and the festival culminates with feasting, dancing and singing that goes on for many hours.
The most famous Parian dishes are the kakavia, gouna (salted sun-dried fish), salatouri, kolokythokeftedes, tomatokeftedes, chickpeas in the oven, ambelofassoula, fava, karavoli, kalfa with skordalia. The cheeses are also exceptional. Xinomizithra, ladotiri, brine cheese, touloumisio and mizithra, combined with paximadi, and kritharokouloures. Housewives make spoon sweet, rafiolia, mizithropitakia, lambrokouloura, lazarakia, petimezenia (cookies using petimezi instead of sugar) and skaltsounia as well as the traditional alcoholic beverage souma.