Customs and Easter celebration in Serifos

Some customs of Serifos

Description of the customs in Serifos and Easter in Serifos

Serifos still maintains its traditions and tries to keep its customs. The island’s inhabitants keep the manners and customs that they have inherited.

Capetania

One of the special customs of the island is the custom of Capetania, which takes place on the last Sunday of the Carnival and it has its roots back in the liberation fight.

During the last years, the Women Association of Serifos organizes "Andromeda". According to the custom, the residents of the island are divided into two teams and each one sets its leader, the Captain. Each team’s Captain organizes its group members (including the musicians) and they literally fight against each other. One group represents the Greeks and the other one the conquerors.

In the past, the custom took place outside the monastery of the Taxiarches but during the last years, the "Capetanies" pass by many places as well as by the monastery of the Taxiarches.

The Monastery of the Taxiarches in Serifos

Xylopanagia

The most important festival is the festival of Xylopanagia which takes place around the old olive-tree at the square, on the fifteenth of August at the most ancient church of the island, in the village Panagia.

The name Xylopanagia comes from the “tsakomata” (fighting) with wooden sticks[1] between men for the winning of the heart of the most beautiful woman. According to the tradition, the couple that would dance first around the olive-tree in front of the church would be married within a year. Today this custom does not take place any more, however the festival is still one of the most important ones of the island, and all the inhabitants come here every year to have a good time and dance for three good days...

Easter

Serifos at Easter time is festive and gets ready for the summer and the following season. Wild flowers bloom everywhere and the white houses are waiting for the Resurrection of the God-Man.

The preparations begin on the Good Thursday with the painting of the Easter eggs.

On the Good Friday, at noon there is the Descent from the Cross. It is worth asking the locals which Epitaphios to visit since they are all decorated with blooming wild flowers.

In the evening, the Epitaphios is carried in procession in a solemn atmosphere, with the believers following the procession in the paved streets, chanting. The procession of the Epitaphios through the narrow streets of Pano Chora and Kato Chora are of particular interest.

At the dawn of Easter Saturday, it is worth attending the Resurrection Liturgy. Since the priests are not enough to cover all of the island’s parishes, you’d better ask what time the Resurrection Liturgy is going to take place, where you want to attend it.

On Easter Sunday, the entire island becomes a big company and feasts all day long!

The district of Kato Chora and the church of Evagelistria in Serifos

Kounies (Swings)

It is an Easter custom, which occurs almost in every island of the Cyclades complex.

In the past, we used to install a big wooden swing at a central place and the single men used to swing the girl they desired, thus showing them their love.

Nowadays, this custom revives and a big wooden swing, decorated with blooming wild flowers is installed on some narrow street of some settlement. After the “Christ is risen” of the Second Resurrection, the "swinging man" swings the couples on the swing. The people participating in this custom are dancing and singing.

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