kythnos island

The traditions and customs of each place in Greece are different and this is exactly the case in Kythnos where traditions remain alive and visitors have the opportunity to be introduced and even take part in them. Easter, weddings, Carnival and the Lantern Festival of Saint Theodore are just some of them. Of course, as happens in every celebration, the customs are accompanied by traditional dishes and sweets as well as dancing with traditional Cycladic melodies.

So let's look in detail at the most famous traditional customs of Kythnos.

Carnival in Kythnos

Carnival is for all Christians an opportunity to escape from everyday life. Festive events are organized in Dryopida where the young members of the community, wearing the traditional costumes of Kythnos, dance the "balos" on the cobblestones and alleys of the village. In Chora, the residents wear improvised carnival costumes, while all over the island grills are set up in the squares where you can grill!

On Shrove Sunday in Chora they welcome the "Lazani" or carnival king and in Dryopida a traditional three-covert feast is set up.

Quadragesima in Kythnos

Quadragesima, the Sunday forty days before Good Friday, is celebrated with special honors in Dryopida where after the church there is a procession of the icons throughout the village. The young people decorate a basket and, accompanied by musical instruments, go around the village where they collect eggs while the housewives treat them to wine and snacks.

The Easter customs of Kythnos

Easter is one of the biggest holidays in Christianity and so the preparations start early. On Maundy Thursday it starts with the dyeing of the eggs and the baking of the traditional Easter buisquits. Also, all the alleys of the village are whitened.

On Good Friday the traditional procession of the Epitaphion takes place, while on Great Saturday the Thermian pies are served. Thermiotic pies are made only on the island of Kythnos where the housewives open a fyllo pastry with a rolling pin. In a basin, unsalted fresh Thermio cheese is mixed together with spring onions, dill and eggs. The pies are made sweet or salty and depending on the filling they have the corresponding shape. On the evening of Holy Saturday those who have relatives who have died bring to the church eggs, wine and bread and they are offered to visitors and relatives. This custom is called "sychorio". On Easter night, the whole family gathers at the table to eat the traditional soup made from goat or lamb meat.

On Easter Sunday, the traditional meal includes baked lemon lamb

On Easter Monday, the costum of Kounia takes place, a traditional custom that takes place in the central square of Chora. A large swing is set up in the square on which young men and women swing in traditional costumes. Any couple who climbs into the cradle commits before God for their marriage. Of course, the reenactment of the custom is followed by treats and traditional dances.

Wedding in Kythnos

The wedding is a particularly important event and of course it is another reason for celebration and joy. The wedding customs in Chora and Dryopida are of particular interest and everyone is invited: friends, relatives, neighbors and even strangers. Everyone helps in the preparations and has fun giving their wishes to the newly married couple.

The feast or festa starts the day before the wedding with friends and relatives preparing the traditional wedding food such as the braised lamb with mashed potatoes. During the preparation, a great feast is set up with the accompaniment of instruments such as the lute, the tsabuna and the violin. The party keeps getting bigger and bigger as everyone who passes by stops to enjoy themselves. In the afternoon of this day, the dowry or gifts are transferred from the groom's house to the bride's house, since according to the Thermian custom, the bride's dowry includes the new residence of the couple. During the procession of the newlyweds to and from the church, they are accompanied by traditional wedding songs played by violin and lute.

In the church, the priest offers almonds and honey to the couple in addition to wine, while after the sacrament the guests are offered the traditional sweet pasteli. The feast continues throughout the night and the next day as the couple walks around the village, accompanied by instruments, visiting the homes of relatives and friends. In the afternoon the party ends at the house of the groomsmen and after the patinada the maid of honor takes the plate with the cake to end up at the house of the newlyweds.

The "Fotara" of Agios Theodoros

The "fotara" custom is of special folklore interest since during it young men and women light a big fire and pass over it with the aim of staying strong and healthy.

May Day in Kythnos

May Day is the celebration of spring and blossoming and so young people at night gather flowers from the yards with the intention of hanging them outside the door of the girl they are interested in accompanied by musical instruments and singing the melody of May:

May has come my love,
summer has come,
the time has come little bird
that we will give birth to a mate