July and August are the months for summer celebrations. Performances of ancient greek plays at the Epidavros theatre, over 2,000 years old, art festivals, church fiestas with days and nights of prayer, dancing and feasting, classical piano music under the full moon, concerts on the beach, dancing on the waterfront, marching bands. Not all of these happen on the island but Poros has its fair share of summer festivities.
As you might have suspected there are also a number of name days to celebrate. Name days are the celebration of your name on the day of fiesta of the Saint you are named after.
7 July Agia (female saint) Kyriaki
There is a church on the nearby island of Angistri decicated to this saint-ess. K's father was born here so he has many distant relatives. We have never actually been to this fiesta but were there one year on the eve of the celebration when they were covering the road with a sweet smelling shrub called 'smyrta'.
17 July Agia Marina, protector of small children
20 July Prophet Elias (Elijah)
His churches are always built on the top of hills
23 July Agia Pelagia
A small church in a village nearby with a jolly priest. There are eats and beer after the service
24 July Saint Boris
Holy equal of the apostles, a popular Russian saint
We don't have a church dedicated to him around here but I thought you'd all want to know when to send your Boris sticky cakes and flowers and wish him 'Many long years'
On the day of Boris's election in the UK turks were rejoicing and celebrating him as one of their own. One of his grandfathers was from Turkey. They expect a good deal from the UK with a turk as PM
All these saints have churches near us and services on the eve of the saints fiesta and another on the actual morning
The nearest church to us is dedicated to Agia Paraskevi whose name day is 0n 26 July
know for healing ailments of the eyes
First leave a few cents, light a candle, one for yourself and a candle for others dead or alive whom you think should be remembered by the saint.
You then move a few steps, cross yourself 3 times and kiss her icon. I skip the icon bit
A very small church so the majority of worshippers sit or stand outside. We went early and found a bench along the wall. An hour and a half of feet shuffling is too much for me though you can move around and chat with friends if you want to
On the table with the white cloth are piles of holy bread waiting to be blessed. There are always 5 loaves of the sweet bread representing the 5 loaves and fishes and one of the loaves will have 5 candles stuck in it which will be lit later by the priest or his helper
The icon of St Paraskevi is paraded around the outside of the church
The loaves are incensed and blessed and then taken away to be cut into large pieces and handed out to the crowd
27 July Agios (male saint) Panteleimonas
There is a little church on the hills opposite above the village of Galatas. My s in law used to arrange the service there as she had a farm just above the church. I can remember taking part one year, rising at dawn to transport the priest, candles, holy oil, coffee and sweet rusks up the mountain.
Amen for July