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Tinos, Ktikados – Festival of the Holy Cross
The Church of the Holy Cross is located in the traditional village of Ktikados, with its numerous examples of distinctive architecture, picturesque cobblestone alleyways and beautiful houses adorned with marble lintels. The characteristic of the village is the absence of any roads cutting through it: one moves around on foot. Impressive are its beautiful architecture, the antique public fountain in the village square, and its plethora of carved marble details throughout the village, in particular at the Orthodox Church of Ypapanti. The Catholic church of the Holy Cross is found at the entrance to the village and is possibly the oldest on the island. The church steeple dates from around the 12th century. A festival takes place on September 14th following a holy liturgy where everyone is invited to participate. 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