breaking news: Baby St. John presides Greek solistice festivities again this year.

Pretty young girl jumping the fires of Saint John in Ikaria

Dear readers, I can’t but share with you these wonderful photos from the ritual of «Klidonas» in Ikaria which took place on Saturday, June 24 in a little chapel celebrating Saint John in the forest just outside Christos Raches. Related to summer solstice, this ritual is practiced in many places around the world in wilder or milder ways. The description of the ritual is this:

«The 24th of June is one of the biggest summer festivals of Greek tradition, since the feast of St. John the “Klidonas” is accompanied by the traditional custom of burning the flower wreaths of May and passing over the fires.
The nickname «Klidonas» comes from the ancient Greek word «κλήδων» (klidon), meaning “the predictor sound” and was used to describe the combination of random and incoherent words during a divination ceremony.
Essentially «Klidonas» is associated with a folk, divination process, which is said to reveal to the unmarried girls the identity of their future husband.
According to custom, on the eve of St. John’s celebration, the single girls are gathered in one of the houses of the village and one of them goes to the well to bring the «silent water». It is called that way because she must speak to no one of the way to and back from the well.
At home they pour the water into a clay pot in which each girl throws a personal object, called “rizikari” (coming from the word “riziko” which means destiny). Then and then they cover up the pot with a red cloth and tie it up while praying in St. John. Afterwards they place the pot in open space, where it stays overnight. On that same night, Is said that the girls will see in their dreams their future spouse.
Meanwhile, on the eve of Saint John celebration also revives the well-known custom with fires: At the village square they light a big fire where everybody burns the flower wreaths they made on Mayday, and over which all the villagers jamb. According to the tradition, the fire brings catharsis and people are exempted from evil.»

But enough with Greek lore. Take a look at the photos! 😀

Pretty young girl jumping the fires of Saint John in Ikaria Raches 09

Klidonas Ikaria 01 Klidonas Ikaria 02

Klidonas Ikaria 03 Klidonas Ikaria 04

Klidonas Ikaria 05 Klidonas Ikaria 06

Klidonas Ikaria 07 Klidonas Ikaria 08

It’s fun! Isn’t it!?


Add to it the sound of the big bass drum banging over the fire jumpers!

😛 😛 😛

4 Σχόλια on “breaking news: Baby St. John presides Greek solistice festivities again this year.”

  1. Ο/Η egotoagrimi λέει:
    Hello, love.
    I showed this to Eva


    In my blog: Simply Belgian


    who is a big fan of Klidonas. She is coming to Ikaria again this year and she mailed to me:

    «This ,6 years ago, was my first panigiri ever, I was overwelmd by the music, the people dancing ikariotiko and the fires. I took some real nice photos of this panigiri, but they are lost somewhere. Last year, in June I was in Granada, a bit dissapointed that I couldn`t be at the panigiri of Ag. Yannis. Then the people there started to tell me that there was a fiesta in the old part of Granada, by the caves, where they make fires.


    Fiesta De San Juan


    «You had first to throw a paper in the fire with a bad side of your self, the side that you wish to disapear. Then you jump 5 times over the fire, and then you wash yourself with water with herbs an flowers to clean your soul.
    This fiesta was called: Sant Juan. It s the same fiesta, only instead of ikariotikios and rembetikos they played and danced the most beautifull Flamencos I’ve ever heard. So I experienced the same party nut, in another place on the same day! It was great!

    It’s the SAME CUSTOM!


    Αρέσει σε 7 άτομα

  2. […] breaking news: Baby St. John presides Greek solistice festivities again this year. No Nature without Culture […]

    Αρέσει σε 6 άτομα

  3. […] Although small at that time, Musical Yards was a pool of forgetfulness and forgiveness, a pocket of equality and fraternity, a refuge for the young for inspiration and hope, a spot where music was played, taught and performed without interruptions or interferences – other than the song of the cicadas on those old oak trees in the hospitable churchyard of Ai Giannis. […]

    Αρέσει σε 4 άτομα


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