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Tinos – Festival of the Virgin of Vourniotissa
The monastery of the Virgin of Vourniotissa is located 4 km from the Agapi village, with a view of the sea and the bay of Kolymbithra. It is dedicated to the Virgin of Vournotissa, where a miracle-working icon was found and is kept in the age-old monastery of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary or Lady of the Angels of Kechrovouni. It holds its annual celebration of September 8th, the day in 1870 when, as legend has it, the icon was miraculously found. 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. Photo: tinosecret.gr