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Sifnos, Seladi – Agios Nikitas Festival
The acropolis of Agios Nikitas (Saint Nikitas) is located in northeastern Sifnos, in the Seladi region on a hill called Antri. It owes its name to the chapel of the same name built next to it. The view from atop the acropolis is of unique beauty. Access to the archaeological site of the acropolis is physically demanding, as the path that starts from Apollonia-Herronisos road involves a lot of uphill walking. The chapel of Agios Nikitas holds its annual celebration on September 14th, the festival beginning in the eve of the feast, after the evening prayer. The festivals of Sifnos are centuries’-old traditions and are celebrated on the eve of the day that a church or monastery honours the memory of the saint that it is dedicated to. The picturesque and lively festivals attract many people, who chant and pray – but also cook, eat, drink and celebrate until late into the night in the church’s white-washed courtyards. The host of the festival, called the panigiras, the Sifnos islander who has the honour of keeping the icon of the church in his house for an entire year, returning it on the day of the festival. The panigiras assumes all the expenses of the festival, as well as the care and maintenance of the church. After the liturgy, the worshippers sit around the “tables of love” to taste revithada, olives, kokkinisto with pasta, and cod during the fasting period. They also drink red wine, served in local clay jugs while toasting to the health of the panigiras. The celebrators stay until the break of dawn, dancing, and singing. The next morning, after the liturgy, the next panigiras takes the sacred icon to his home to keep it for the coming year. Photo: sifnos2day.gr