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Tinos, Kardiani – Birth of the Virgin Mary
Draped along the ridge of a sharp slope with an enchanting view of the sea, Kardiani is among the most picturesque villages of Tinos. There is no road cutting through it, but just narrow lanes and stairs. The plane trees and the rich flora are so vigorous because of the waters flowing beneath the arches and flowery alleyways. The settlement of Kardiani has been designated by the Ministry of Culture as a Traditional Settlement. Its brilliantly white houses are architecturally impressive. The village has a tradition in the art of marble scultping and has produced numerous marble-working craftsmen. Their skill is manifest in its marble founts, its central fountain and the marble skylights that grace the houses. It is a religiously mixed village, with the Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity and the Catholic Church of the Birth of the Virgin-Kioura both being works of art. The Church of the Birth of the Virgin Mary is found in the center of the settlement and hosts its celebration on the 8th of September. 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.