May 5, 2015

Santa Irene

If you stand next to an Irene, Irenaeus or Efraim, wish them happy name day, kiss them on both cheeks and request your treat! It is custom in Greece on our name day, to serve relatives and friends something sweet and of course to accept gifts from them! There are several churches in Santorini dedicated to Saint Irene, such as the one next to Mesa Vouno (Inner Mountain) and, if beautifully decorated with colorful flags, you can watch the ceremony in the morning and mingle with the locals and who knows ... you may also get your treat!

Actually, it could be the official celebration of Santorini as the name “Santa Irene” denotes! Churches dedicated to Santa Irene stand in almost every village on the island as well as the neighboring islands. There is the small church of Agia Irini, in the road connecting Fira with Pyrgos, near the Mexican restaurant, right over the caldera. Many other churches also celebrate today, like these in Megalohori, in Messaria, in Emporio and in Vourvoulos. Apart from Santorini, celebrations also take place in the port of Ios and in Riva, Thirasia.