Oct 22, 2014

Saint Averkios: the new wine fiesta

On 22 October in Santorini we celebrate the feast of Saint Averkios, the patron saint of wine as his celebration is held on the same day the opening of the new wine barrels is done. 
At the old times everyone was looking forward to this feast. It was a very special day as they had the chance to enjoy themselves, get drunk with the new wine and forget the difficulties of island life for a moment. Firstly, the owners of the wineries went to canavas (the old wine cellars), holding blessed branches of basil, brought from the church, and opened the barrels while singing the hymn of St. Averkios.
Then they tasted the new wines and offered a rich table (quail was always part of the menu) to everyone in the village. The music started: musicians with lyres, violins and bagpipes played all the popular traditional tunes and people danced and sang all day long.