Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Feast of Panagia Enniameritisa on Paros


Panagia Enniameritisa (of the Nine Days), otherwise known as Panagia of Naousa, is found in the village of Naousa on the island of Paros. It celebrates its feast on August 23rd, which is nine days after the Dormition of the Theotokos.

On August 23rd there is a pirate festival with a big feast representing the assault of the pirates on the villages of Paros. Fireworks, traditional music, dances, local food and wine compose this great feast.



The Pirates of Paros

Everyone is aware of the "Pirates of the Caribbean", but how many have even heard of the "Pirates of the Aegean"? Well, all you need to do is get your tickets booked and head to the picturesque island of Paros. It is always advisable to coincide your trip to Paros at the time of the colorful Barbarossa Pirate Festival, which is held every year on the 23rd of August.

This unique festival is a classic case of reenacting of the entire episode of an infamous pirate attack on the island of Paros, which is rather skillfully represented by the enthusiastic locals. There is tons of fun and one can be assured of hilarious and chilling scenes during this unique Pirate Festival.

Unbelievably, the quaint fishing vessels who play a pivotal role in the Festival, act in the guise of pirate ships and energetic locals, particularly the youths of Paros undertake the roles of pirates, protectors and believe it or not - dancing damsels in distress. A lot of times the casualty of Greek pirates surprisingly used to be a Greek island itself, which may sound odd, but is very true.

The island of Paros in particularly was witness to wave after wave of pirate attacks. As a ploy to rebuff the pirates, the people of Paros built impregnable “Skiathos” which were nothing but traditional Greek fortresses principally meant to ward off pirate attacks. But even these unconquerable “Skiathos” weren’t able to withstand the fierce attacks of the heavily-armed pirates.

The islands of Greece in general and Paros in particular has a long history of pirate attacks. According to a popular Greek legend, heavily armed pirates once kidnapped a beautiful Pelekas bride on the day of her wedding. This act of cruelty so shocked the bride’s mother that she cursed the pirates and as per legend they all were turned into stones, including her daughter who was taken into captivity, due primarily to some inappropriate use of words that were uttered in the curse. (Source)






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