Friday, September 18, 2009

Panigiri at Levidi

During the summer months, there are a number of religious festivals taking place in villages all over Greece. These consist of special church services during the day, followed by merriment in the evening. The merriment bit includes music, dancing, eating and shopping at the open air markets that are set up. The Greek name for this type of festival is "panigiri".

I took this photo at a panigiri in Levidi, in rural Arcadia. This is the village's main square, where tables and chairs were set out for the revellers. On the left of the picture, behind the fountain, you can see there is music and dancing going on.

It was a quarter past midnight when I snapped this, and the celebration was still going strong when we left at 1:30 AM.


Vogon Poet said...

Forgive me if I keep pestering you with my question about Greek words, but I wonder if the Italian panegirico, which means eulogy, has some connection with panigiri.
The place looks so nice: a typical village square with the church in background, a fountain and even a statue.
Nice festival, very good shot!

Tinsie said...

You're kidding? I love your word questions :-)

Yes, there is a connection between the words panegirico/panigiri, in that they originate from the same Ancient Greek word, panegyris (πανήγυρις) which means a general assembly. From this came the word panegyric, a eulogistic oration given at a major festival, i.e. the Panegyricus by Isocrates. I guess that's where you guys got panegirico from.

In Greece, panegyris came to mean a public assembly that met on certain fixed dates to honour a specific god with prayers, feasts, processions and amusements, which in Christian times became the present day panigiri/panegyri (πανηγύρι) taking place on Saints' Days.

The original word was derived from pan = everyone and agiris (aka agora) = gathering, assembly.

Glad you like the photo! This village square really did have everything, including a view point that offered almost a bird's eye view of the festivities :-)

Vogon Poet said...

You are too kind, thank you for your explanation. I didn't think to split it in pan + agora, which even I know!

Tinsie said...

To be honest, I had to look it up myself, because although I knew what the word meant, I couldn't work out the -igiris part. It didn't occur to me that there might be a connection to agora (and I've studied Ancient Greek at school, which I'm guessing you haven't).

Suzanne said...

Nice pictures.
Merci pour l'invitation à donner des commentaires.

Tinsie said...

Hi Suzanne, good to see you here :-)

Anonymous said...

nice night shot :)

Patricia P said...

How often do you go to Greece? what a great place to find yourself in. You are very lucky to travel to such beautiful places.

Tinsie said...

I usually go 3-4 times a year for 1-2 weeks at a time (I have family out there) but this year I've spent more time in Greece than usual, hence the abundance of Greek photos ;-)