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The “Fanarakia” (lanterns) of Tinos

EVENT INFO

Start Date: 29 January 2023
End Date: 29 January 2023
People front the church of Tinos town by night with lanterns

EVENT INFO

Start Date: 29 January 2023
End Date: 29 January 2023

The “Fanarakia” is celebrated each year on the 30th of January on the island of Tinos to commemorate the discovery of the icon of the Annunciation and to re-enact the discovery of the icon. All the locals flood the streets of the town bearing poles from which multicoloured lanterns hang and singing the chants of the festival.

According to tradition, the nun Pelagia of the Kechrovouni Monastery dreamed, in July 1822, of seeing the Virgin Mary who told her where to dig in order to find an icon depicting Her. Six months later, a worker’s pickaxe struck a fragment of worked wood while he was digging. Lifting it, he saw a partial painting depicting an angel holding a lily. It was one of the two pieces of the icon of the Annunciation. The second half of the image was later found, showing the Virgin sitting on a throne. Both pieces comprised the icon of the Annunciation, the one that is now covered by oblations. News of the discovery spread across the island and, until late in the night, villagers from all over Tinos came to worship the icon, arriving on foot and holding lanterns to enable them to see in the night.

people front the church and holding illuminated lamps at The “Fanarakia” (lanterns) of Tinos, Greece by night   people front the church and holding illuminated lamps at The “Fanarakia” (lanterns) of Tinos, Greece by night

In commemoration, a procession takes place every year on January the 30th with the people holding lanterns as they did in 1823. As sunset approaches, everything is in place for the torchlight procession to commence with the simultaneous carrying of the icon through the streets of Tinos’ capital “Hora”. Starting from the courtyard of the church and following a beautiful route, accompanied by the Philharmonic, the procession pauses at the port and then ends at the Church of the Virgin. The students of the island’s schools lead the procession. During the litany and with its arrival at the port, the sky of Tinos is illuminated by fireworks fired from ships anchored in the harbour.

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: efsyn.gr tinostoday.gr

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