Dave and Gerry's Alonissos Island Information Site
 

Panagia on Alonissos - 15th August 2009

Panagia was celebrated in the Old Village on the evening of Saturday August 15th with signs going up around the island a couple of days before the event.  There was a large sheet by the school and another at the harbour.  The sheets were all written in Greek to encourage non-Greeks to attend and both had a start time of 18.00 in red.  We walked up the steps by the Fantasia Apartments and saw the evening's food being cooked opposite over wood fires.  When we arrived at the Plateia where the bus stops, the stage for the musicians to play during the evening had already been erected and all the breeze block and wooden tables were in place.

Although billed as a 6pm start the evening didn't get underway until well gone 7pm and there were no free drinks and sweets available before the start of the evenings proceedings.  We followed the crowd up to Plateia Christos with the musicians leading the way and although the "best man" and "matron of honour" were collected from the Hiliadromia Apartments as usual there wasn't any dancing, although the musicians played and drink and sweets were handed out by the wedding attendants.

As the musicians led the wedding entourage to the apartments near Nik and Lyn to collect the groom we took a short cut and arrived before them to get a good vantage point.  The musicians played and there was traditional dancing led by the groom and as last year the wedding attendants handed out sweets and drinks.  When the musicians led the wedding entourage off to collect the bride we again went off on a short cut passed Agios Nikolaos church to arrive at the Traditional House before them.

At the Traditional House the groom was again given a hard time before being allowed into the house to be with his intended bride.  The bride and groom came out on the balcony before leaving the house to go down to Plateia Iroon.  We managed to escape the crowds and get down to the plateia before the bride and groom.  We all noticed the wreaths that had been been laid during the ceremony on the morning of Panagia.  The wedding attendants stood and posed for the crowds before the entrance of the bride and groom.  The musicians started to play and the whole wedding entourage joined together in traditional dances for the crowd.

The wedding entourage then made its way down to the plateia outside Taverna Panselinos where the bride and groom posed for pictures.  There were announcements made first in Greek and then in other languages to inform the crowd of the evenings events.  The musicians that led the wedding entourage took the stage and played while the wedding party danced.  As the evening progressed there was free wine on a table opposite Taverna Panselinos as well as traditional sweets and honey soaked dough balls (loukoumathes).

We sat and had drinks under the pine trees as the crowd milled around getting food and drink and joining in the dancing.  A group of musicians took the stage and started to play and we joined in the dancing until it was time for bed.  We left around midnight with the party still going full pelt and reports suggested that people were still walking back to Patitiri at 5am.  Another wonderful evening on Alonissos that we will all never forget.

 

Food for the Evening Being Cooked
 

Stage for the Musicians
 

Musicians Leading the Wedding Entourage off to Collect the Bride
 

Bride and Groom on the Balcony of the Traditional House Museum
 

Bride and Groom Leaving the Traditional House Museum
 

Wreaths at the War Memorial
 

Wedding Attendants Posing for the Crowds
 

Bride and Groom Walking Down the Steps to Plateia Iroon
 

Traditional Dancing in Plateia Iroon
 

Bride and Groom Posing for Pictures Outside Taverna Panselinos
 

Announcing the Evening's Events
 

Musicians Playing on the Stage
 

Wedding Party Dancing Outside Taverna Panselinos
 

Crowd Milling Around and Waiting for Food
 

Band Playing on the Stage
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